Meals on Wheels in Butler County more than just food

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Community First Solutions held a March for Meals program for community leaders to teach them about the Meals On Wheels Program.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Meals on Wheels provided nearly 149,000 meals to over 800 Butler County seniors and other home-bound people in 2016.

Volunteers drove nearly 2,000 miles each delivering the food and so much more.

“More than providing a meal, drivers provide clients with a friendly conversation about their newest grandchild, the score of the recent Reds game, or our latest crazy weather swing,” said Amy Wylie, vice president of Community First Solutions, which runs the Butler County program.

“Beyond conversation, drivers have been known to assist clients with other tasks such as opening containers, carrying in trash cans, or changing a light bulb. They’ve even been there to call for help for clients experiencing medical emergencies,” she said.

Glen Thompson, 81, is one of those drivers and he has been on his route for 13 years. He started after retiring from 50 years of full-time work in Hamilton.

“I was just sitting around and that wasn’t good, so I had an interview to be a Meals on Wheels driver and they hired me on the spot,” he said. “I am going to do this until I can’t do it anymore. I love it and the people on my route.”

Virginia Lamb, 79, is one of the people who count on seeing Thompson and getting the meal he delivers. She said she’s “thankful and blessed” that this program exists.

“There are a lot of people like me that still live in our own homes, but we simply can’t do what we used to,” Lamb said.

Shirley Couch, 73, said she relies on the meals and also having the chance to have a “nice person” like Thompson look in on her to make sure she’s okay.

“I live by myself now and I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t get these meals,” Couch said. “I really depend on them.”

Wylie said grants and donors have helped keep the program going as more older adults choose to live in their own home.

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