Since the Covid pandemic, more than 1 million people in Tampa Bay are food insecure. Every Thanksgiving season, MidPoint highlights issues of food insecurity and we look for “the helpers” in our community who make a difference. Today, we met Cindy Vann, Engagement Director, and Erica Leigh, Communications and Marketing Director from Meals on Wheel Tampa, along with Rebecca Fiore, a “super-volunteer” for MOW. Meals on Wheels Tampa is an affiliate of the national Meals on Wheels organization which is a clearinghouse for information on Meals on Wheels programs in communities all around the country.
Over 1100 homebound, hungry seniors now get a hot meal daily thanks to the efforts and assistance of the volunteers of Meals on Wheel Tampa.
Meals on Wheels serves homebound, hungry seniors in our local community with daily hot meals and provides an opportunity for companionship and wellness checks for those who are often alone and without family support. MOW also works with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to insure their clients can feed their pets, and they provide hurricane resource packs for clients who may not be able to leave their homes during times when MOW volunteers are unable to serve them due to weather threats.
The volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels are vast and varied for all ages and inclinations, from staffing and driving a meal delivery route for adults over 18, to children making holiday cards and posters to be included in deliveries. Children are welcome to accompany their parents on deliveries, and the kids are often the highlight of a client’s day. Corporations and businesses looking for team-building activities and ways to engage with their communities may Adopt a Route and permit employees to make deliveries during the work day.
Meal delivery routes usually are designed to take about one hour, between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and MOW clients are generally required to be at home when the delivery is made. Food is not left unattended. Birthdays are celebrated with cake and cards packed in the deliveries and holiday deliveries include little gifts for the recipients as well.
Meals on Wheels is completely funded by private donations. You can find out more about the organization and opportunities to assist or become a client at their website www.MOWTampa.org.
Listen to the complete show here: