Volunteers fuel Meals on Wheels deliveries

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 7:25 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Local Office on Aging helps older Virginians remain independent as long as possible. Delivering nutritious meals is a big part of that mission. And the Meals on Wheels program wouldn’t be possible without hundreds of volunteers.

Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-11) knows the drill. After all, he’s been delivering meals on wheels for 15 years. We caught up with him Tuesday morning at Vinton Baptist Church as he loaded the trunk of his car and prepared to head out with food for nine seniors.

“I started out in 2007, on this route here in Vinton,” Rasoul told WDBJ7, “and I’ve been doing the same route ever since.”

Rasoul got involved through his participation in Kiwanis. Today, he is just one soldier in a small army of volunteers who deliver about 600 meals every weekday.

It adds up quickly. The Local Office on Aging provided more than 120,000 meals during the last budget year alone. And the food is just part of the bargain.

“You know that these are folks who are in a very vulnerable situation many times,” Rasoul said. “This might be the only opportunity that many of them have to talk with someone during the day.”

“You know I say the moment is as important as the meal,” added LOA President & CEO Ron Boyd, “you know that social contact for so many of our seniors. And we have a growing senior population.”

Rick Long appreciates the food and the friendly exchange.

“I call most of them my sunshine people,” Long said after Rasoul delivered his meal.

“I don’t cook much, but I love the meals and the people are nice that bring ‘em. always get a smile out of ‘em, some talk sometimes.”

Rasoul said he enjoys the visits as well. And he hopes others will recognize the need and help to insure that vulnerable Virginians are not left behind.

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