The past winter was a rough one, even by Minnesota standards. Many of us have been inconvenienced by the snow, ice and cold at some point, but extreme winters can be even more difficult for those with limited mobility.
Most Meals on Wheels recipients fall into this category. The daily visit offered by our volunteers is appreciated and valued throughout the year, but when winter restricts travel even further that interaction becomes even more important.
“I’ve never seen a winter like this. I’ve had to cancel appointments,” said Virginia Reilly, a meal recipient in Minneapolis. “When I was younger I could cope with anything but this has been difficult.”
Each fall, Meals on Wheels volunteer groups pack thousands of shelf-stable Blizzard Boxes for recipients to use on days that our neighborhood programs must cancel deliveries. Those boxes were put to good use this year. Most days though, our volunteers prevailed over the weather and provided critical assistance to those in need.
“It’s very good for me to have that social contact,” Virginia said. “[The volunteers] don’t just bring me a package on Wednesday. It’s a big social thing. You meet people who are delivering.”
To all of the volunteers who regularly delivered meals and a smile this winter: You helped the people you delivered to more than you know.