Living mostly within the four walls of their residences, without able-bodied assistance, many seniors are having difficulty keeping themselves properly nourished.
That’s where Meals on Wheels and Senior Services North Fulton, the designated program provider for this area, come in. Five days a week, agency volunteers bring local seniors enrolled in the program a full and balanced meal that meets almost 70 percent of an adult’s daily nutritional needs.
“Many of our clients are homebound, or buying food is very expensive for them, or they use walkers or wheelchairs and can’t stand to prepare a meal,” said Carrie Bellware, the senior services agency’s executive director.
In addition to bringing much-needed food, volunteers take time to visit with the clients, which Bellware said in many cases is almost as important as the meal.
“They connect to someone who cares about them,” she said of the senior clients. “Our volunteers are trained to call for help if someone doesn’t answer the door. It’s a daily welfare check.”
Upon retiring from UPS in 1994 after 31 years, Johns Creek resident Ray Doan joined his wife, Dianne, in volunteering for the program. In addition to sorting the meals for the different clients and routes, Doan also delivers a route himself in Roswell. “You become their friend, even part of their family,” he said of the clients.
The agency’s service area covers Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton, Mountain Park, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. Clients range in age from 60 up to 100 years old.
“Right now we are able to provide around 2,000 meals a month throughout north Fulton, but there is always a need for more,” Bellware said.
March is Meals on Wheels Awareness Month, a national campaign to raise awareness of senior hunger and encourage action on the part of local communities. This week, mayors and council members from all north Fulton cities are delivering meals to and visiting with seniors in their municipalities. The program gets a chunk of its funding from Fulton County, “but it doesn’t really meet the demand,” Bellware said.
On Saturday, in support of the program, Vino 100, 131 South Main Street in Alpharetta, is holding a fundraiser and wine tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wine tasting tickets are $10. There will be five different wines, snacks and live music.
For more information about Meals on Wheels and Senior Services North Fulton, go to www.ssnorthfulton.org.