Meals on Wheels Calls for Volunteers
Organizers of the Neighborly Care Network's Meals on Wheels program of Pinellas County say they'll lose 25 percent of volunteers this summer.
The Neighborly Care Network's Meals on Wheels program delivers up to 1,200 warm meals to homebound residents everyday in Pinellas County.
Sandra Narron, with Neighborly Care Network, says they're putting out a call for help. They have at least 500 people on a waiting list to receive meals, and they're likely to lose a quarter of their volunteer drivers in just a couple months. On top of that, Narron says they're already short volunteers.
"Probably five, six years ago we had 1,000 volunteers. Now we have 800 throughout Neighborly Care Network," she said.
Narron says about 25 percent of their Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers start to head up North in April. Although people registered in the program do not go without a daily warm meal, Narron says it's tough on current volunteers. Many are doubling their shifts and paying more for gas because of it.
"Eighty-five to ninety percent of our volunteers are seniors," she said.
Another way people can help if they can't deliver meals is to donate cash or gas cards for drivers.
"Every little bit helps. This program provides more than a meal. It's somebody to check on them everyday," she said.
There are nine sites across Pinellas County, and officials say they could use more volunteers at any of those locations.
If you are interested in volunteering at least once a week for two hours, please contact the Neighborly Care Network at (727) 573-9444, ext. 4210. If you are unable to volunteer, but would like to make a donation also call (727) 573-9444 or visit their website.
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