They Never Disappoint
BEV, Keene, NH
“The food makes me feel good,” says Bev. “It really is service with a smile.”
A native of Dorchester, MA, she’s been getting meals delivered for past seven years. She likes all the meals but counts Macaroni and Cheese among her favorites. “That knock at the door truly means the world to me,” she says. “The drivers are always so nice and upbeat. You really have no idea what this means to me, these interactions are so important.”
“They never disappoint.”
I Highly Recommend It
HAZEL, Keene, NH
A client of Meals on Wheels for the past several years, Hazel has only one food request. “I’m not a fan of tomatoes,” she said. “Otherwise, the food is excellent. I like everything!”
A lifelong resident of Keene says she loves the area and that the delivery service, and the check-ins are important aspects of being able to stay at home. “I really appreciate the people who bring the food,” she says. “They’re very friendly and I enjoy talking to them.”
Hazel first learned about Meals on Wheels via her mother, who had been a client. “I know that having the meals delivered was a huge comfort to my mother,” she says. “This is a great program; I highly recommend it!”
UNITED BY MISSION
DIANNA MULVEY, Strafford Nutrition Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels Staff
Prior to joining SNMOW, Dianna did not know much about the service or the need. “There is a lot of need out there and this is so much more than just a meal. We provide social contacts for our clients. Sometimes we might be the only outside person they see each week.”
She joined the agency several years ago and has done a variety of jobs including food prep and processing, packing, meal deliverer, and currently is the the Rochester Site Manager. Today, she was filling in for a regular driver covering a route that stretches across Rochester, Farmington, Stafford, and Milton.
“We’re like a little family,” is how Dianna describes the team at SNMOW. “All of us are here for the same reason- the clients. This is an awesome team!”
It really matters
MIKE, Newport Senior Center/Sullivan County Nutrition Services
Now a driver at the agency for three years, Mike’s journey with Sullivan County Nutrition Services started innocently enough. “I was retired and saw a sign on someone’s car about Meals on Wheels. I was looking for something to do and applied. I’m really glad got involved.”
While most client interactions are brief, they are very meaningful to clients. “I know going in that I might be the only outside person someone sees in a given day,” he says. “So, I try to talk about anything, sports, movies, you name it. But I do steer away from politics,” he jokes.
As he loads his Kia Sportage (an all-wheel drive thank you!) with meals for that day’s delivery, Mike says that “what we do here really matters.”
“Our clients are part of this community and the service we provide is very important.”
Making A Difference
KEVIN, Gibson Center for Senior Services
Kevin shares that his Gibson Center career began with answering an ad in the local paper. The retired machinist had moved to the area and was looking for his next challenge. “When I came, I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay,” he said. “But this work and who we are helping really means a lot to me. So, I wanted to stay.”
Kevin has now been working in the kitchen at the Gibson Center for nearly 20 years and hasn’t looked back. “The work is fun; the people are great. We also get good feedback from the clients.”
“It’s wonderful to know that we’re making a difference in someone’s life.”
MEALS AND COMPANY
OLIVE, Lebanon, NH
Meals on Wheels Client
Macaroni and cheese and meatloaf are among Olive’s favorite meals, but she says, “all of the meals here are great. . .and to not have to make dinner for myself is wonderful!”
As she waits in the line for a “Grab and Go” meal, the former librarian (a career of over 45 years!) said that she enjoys coming to the senior center for the meals and company. “It’s nice to see and talk to people. Everyone here is so wonderful.”
It’s fun to come to work each day
BECKY, Gibson Center for Senior Services
To say the cooking team has several balls in the air each day is a bit of an understatement.
“Each day we’re preparing about 90 meals for delivery and several more for congregate dining,” said Becky, Nutrition Director at the Gibson Center. “And of that number, there are about 15-20 tailored meals- all made for scratch.”
The food prep starts at 3:00 AM each weekday morning she says and the remainder of the morning is a well-choreographed operation among staff, volunteers, and others. “We don’t stop!” she jokes.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure our clients get what they need,” she says. “If there is bad weather in the forecast which may impact deliveries, we give people extra meals to help them get through those times.”
Becky shared that the cause is what drew her to the Gibson Center and the connections with older adults remind her each day about the value of the work. “We have a great team and they’re all dedicated to our clients,” she says. “It’s fun to come to work each day.”
Doing the North Country Proud
PHYLLIS SHERMAN, Gibson Center for Senior Services
It’s not unusual for Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Phyllis Sherman to drive as many as 70 miles on some of her routes. “There’s some winding roads, some hills and not all of the roads as paved,” she says. “On some days, my car gets quite a work-out.”
Phyllis, 85, has lived and worked on her family farm for 58 years, along with some of her children and grandchildren. In addition to raising animals and growing produce, the family operates the Sherman Corn Maze each fall which draws people from across the Northeast.
A volunteer for the past 10 years, she says “I love meeting and talking to people. Some people are lonely, so I know it means a lot to them when we talk. It’s sometimes a short conversation, but very meaningful.”
Beyond her volunteer service, Phyllis and her family provide large donations of vegetables from her farm each year to MOWs, which home cooks the food for delivery. In her free time, she enjoys travel with her daughter, last fall they went on a river cruise in Europe.
“This is a great community and I enjoy volunteering and helping out the Gibson Center-it’s a wonderful resource,” says Phyllis. “It’s nice getting to know people and hear about their families.”