Thanks to Meals on Wheels, Mayor Sam Teresi got to spend a few minutes with Doris Bloss, an acquaintance from years past.
Bloss used to waitress at Kiwanis events Teresi attended in the former Holiday Inn in Jamestown and now lives in the Covenant Manor. The two chatted warmly for a few minutes before Teresi was off to make his next delivery on behalf of Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area. Teresi's daily schedule precludes a regular delivery route, but his participation in Mayors for Meals underscores the importance of the relationships that can be built between Meals on Wheels volunteers and meal recipients.
According to the national Meals on Wheels website, senior hunger is an issue that affects 559,403 senior citizens in New York state. Demographically, we know the number of senior citizens in Chautauqua County is on the rise, meaning Meals on Wheels' job won't get any easier for quite some time. The Jamestown program has about 100 volunteers who delivered more than 125,000 meals last year on nine routes through central and southern Chautauqua County.
The suggested cost for home delivery of one heatable meal and one cold meal is $8 per day. For either a heatable or cold meal, the suggested cost is $4.50 per day. The cost of food has increased greatly over the past few years, but Meals on Wheels has tried to keep costs as low as possible, and keep the program sustainable, by hosting fundraisers at events like the city Labor Day Festival, the Babe Ruth World Series of Cars and the Downtown Cruisin'.
It would be wonderful if programs like Meals on Wheels weren't needed. That unfortunately isn't the world in which we live. We can take some solace, then, in the fact volunteer programs like Meals on Wheels exist to make life a little easier for a group of people who have done so much for our area.
To volunteer or for information about getting meals, call Meals on Wheels at 488-9119.