Meals on Wheels still delivering, with precautions

Published 3:27 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Meals on Wheels Rowan continues to deliver nutritious meals to homebound seniors across Rowan County with a new protocol that includes the use of hand sanitizer in between deliveries or the use of gloves.

Volunteers place the meal trays in plastic bags, knock on the door and step back 6 feet from the door. They greet the participant and direct their attention to the meal bag. Before leaving each participant, the volunteer asks about their overall health and reminds the participants to wash their hands frequently. 

Each Monday-Friday, more than 60 volunteers leave from six locations including Cleveland, St. Luke’s Lutheran in Mt. Ulla, Mt. Zion United Church of Christ in China Grove, Shiloh United Methodist Church in Granite Quarry, St. Matthews Lutheran Church just past High Rock Lake, and the Meals on Wheels office in Spencer. 

Several volunteers have offered to substitute on routes when other volunteers must cancel for the day. Sandy Combs, program director, is working with volunteers to fill available routes. 

Many Meals on Wheels participants are in fragile health and need nutritious meals to help them recover. “We are grateful to our volunteers who understand the importance of a meal, friendly visit and informal safety check for our over 245 participants who receive meals Monday-Friday,” said Cindy Fink, Meals on Wheels executive director.

“We continue to receive referrals and our care coordinators are completing phone screenings at this time. We hope to resume in-home visits when the immediate threat of the coronavirus has passed,” Combs said. “We are also receiving requests for meal delivery from individuals who are self-quarantined for protective measures. Unfortunately, we cannot deliver meals to individuals who are not over 60 years of age and homebound due to medical or ambulatory issues. We do not have the funding nor the volunteer capacity to handle requests of this nature.” 

“Our plan is to keep our volunteers and participants safe and healthy,” Board President Tom Robinson said. “Our goal is to continue to provide nutritious meals to our participants and provide a fulfilling and safe volunteer experience, protecting both our participants and volunteers. We continue to abide by the highest food safety standards and are staying in contact with our community partners.”