More than a meal: The impact of Meals on Wheels for snowed-in seniors

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:03 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Hundreds of homebound senior citizens rely on Meals on Wheels for nutrition. Many volunteers also provide a friendly face, and safety check-in when they visit.

Volunteers out of the Local Office on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program in Roanoke loaded up for their first day back on their routes this week, after the snowstorm blocked many roads.

“They’re always happy to see you,” says Lou Komosa, who’s been on his route for 20 years. “I do it twice a week and I’ve had the same route both times. I pretty much know everybody now.”

Cary and Jeanie Mangus have been serving folks on their route for ten years and were able to check in on their diners Wednesday morning. Cary often takes out the trash or brings in the mail for residents they serve.

“They get meals five days a week and they get what we call a snow meal. It’s soup and stuff like that so if we’re unable to do that, then they have something to eat,” he explains. “It’s not only the food, but it also’s the personal contact. So many of these people live by themselves and they really don’t have people. Just to have somebody come knocking on their door every day.”

“We had one lady that had fallen when we were delivering. We knocked on the door and she said I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. So I called Barbara and she called 911.”

The pair also enjoys visiting with their regulars, like Jim Rowe, who has become a dear friend.

“They’re one of the most wonderful couples I’ve ever known, they are very sincere, lovable and we do have a good time together, I look forward to every Wednesday,” says Rowe, who says he schedules his medical appointments around treasured visits with Cary and Jeanne.

“I’m only 94, but I’m happy with every year I’ve had. Every day I enjoy things that I can do, and I’m appreciative of the things I got to do when I was younger. I’m just one happy guy!” he adds.

If you’d like to volunteer with Meals on Wheels and help make a difference in your neighborhood, or find out more information about becoming a member, click here.

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