COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A shortage of volunteers has Columbus’ Meals on Wheels program in desperate need of support.
As the holidays end and the New Year starts, the need for volunteers becomes an issue for non-profits like LifeCare Alliance, which runs Columbus’ Meals on Wheels program.
“We could really use between 60 and 100 more people every week, just to get the volume out,” said Chuck Gehring, president and CEO of LifeCare Alliance.
Gehring says they run about 190 routes throughout Central Ohio, for seven days a week.
But because of the colder weather, along with the pandemic, he says their supply of volunteers has gone down, while demand for meals has gone up.
“We were doing about 4,000 meals a day pre-covid, and many days now we’re doing over 7,000 meals,” said Gehring.
It’s why they’re asking the community to consider volunteering throughout the year, for as long or as little as they like.
And whether you’re stocking the pantries, working in the kitchen, or delivering the food — these volunteers say every moment is worth it.
“These people can’t get out of their homes, some of them, it’s the only people they see all day, so it’s really nice for them,” said Bonnie Smith, a volunteer with Construction One, Inc.
“The clients on the route become like family, we get to know them, they get to know us, and we get a little bit attached to them,” said Lynn Guilbert, a volunteer with NiSource.
For those who are interested in volunteering, you can visit https://www.lifecarealliance.org/volunteer/