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Meals on Wheels working around the clock during pandemic

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:29:16-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Meals on Wheels of West Michigan is not only meeting their quota during the pandemic, they're exceeding it as they continue to help out thousands who are requesting their assistance.

"We are very busy," said Chief Operation Officer, Lisa Wideman, "we are still taking new referrals for homebound seniors, qualifications are age 60 or over. We're seeing a lot more seniors who are staying home because of the virus right now."

Wideman and her team are reliant on dozens of volunteers who have been helping during this time of need, including Grandville mayor Steve Maas.

"I am so proud to have Meals on Wheels of West Michigan here in Grandville," he said. "It helps seniors maintain their independence and stay home."

The team is taking an abundance of caution with everyone in the building wearing facemasks and doing their best to keep their distance, including the delivery drivers.

"When we make our deliveries, our drivers are using gloves and changing them in between each stop as well as wearing masks," Wideman added. "We're now dropping the meals off at the door instead of going into the homes whenever possible."

The team is not only sending ready to eat meals, but some shelf safe goods as well.

"We are making emergency meals that are shelf safe items to send to the client's homes," said Krissy Thomas, the volunteer manager for Meals on Wheels of West Michigan. "Normally we do this in the winter time in case of bad weather, but we're doing this because of the virus now."

Wideman says they're delivering to over 6,000 people in Kent and Allegan counties, all who are depending on meals on wheels during this tiem of need.

"For some people, that's the only meal they're getting for the day. It's amazing when you think about the fact that we have over 1800 people in Allegan and Kent counties right now that, otherwise, would have no access to food," said Wideman.

And even though they're seeing an extremely high demand during the pandemic, Wideman says anyone who needs their help will not be turned away. If you or a loved one over the age of 60 would like assistance from Meals on Wheels, you can visit their website.