Meals on Wheels of Summerville needs your help delivering food to seniors during the coronavirus pandemic

Dorchester County News

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Health officials say seniors are more likely to be impacted by the coronavirus than younger people, leaving many to stay at home in self-isolation.

Many of them need meals at home so that they can avoid large groups at the grocery store.

Meals on Wheels has been in the business of meeting those needs for senior citizens for decades and is working to provide meals to local seniors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the Meals on Wheels program at Saint Paul’s Church in Summerville needs your help to make sure people get the food they need.

“Meals on Wheels of Summerville has been around since 1982,” said Crystal Bovell, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Summerville.

They help about 200 older men and women get daily meals.

“We have about 200 volunteers that come in Monday through Friday,” she said.

They take a meal to each person around lunchtime. The volunteers help, but there is a new problem with coronavirus.

“A lot of them are also in that sort of age criteria the CDC has identified as most at risk,” said Bovell.

So, they need to find some more healthy volunteers under 60-years-old to help quickly.

“We’re reaching out to the community and asking for additional support to enforce our new procedures to take place next Monday the 23rd.”

The plan is, rather than dropping off one meal at each house Monday-Friday, they will drop off 5 meals each Monday.

“That is to minimize that human contact him lessen the spread of the virus that would give us four times less opportunity instead of doing five days we are doing it that one.”

But a critical part of their ministry is social contact.

“One lady we go to every Tuesday, she meets me at the door and I don’t know how much interaction she has on a regular basis- but she’s always got a big smile, always thankful, always wanting to just talk a little bit more than just handing it off and saying thank you,” said Meals on Wheels volunteer Chris Rollison. “I think she looks forward to that interaction. To me, that’s super important.”

They have a plan to keep in touch with their customers daily.

“We will be asking all of our volunteers who do it every other day of the week to make a phone call; just to connect with them verbally so if they have a need or if they’re afraid or if they are just lonely, they’re speaking with someone and they’re not left to themselves.”

“People who aren’t able to get out there and don’t have readily accessible ways to get there, it’s very important more than ever to get out there and bring a meal to them.”

If you want to volunteer, you can sign up at mowsummerville.org.

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