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Pandemic creates client surge for EAAA Meals on Wheels program

Volunteers in high need to deliver and pack meals for older adults in Eastern and Central Maine
(WABI)
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 3:38 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Eastern Area Agency on Aging is looking to spread positivity rates of a different kind.

Their Meals on Wheels program tripled in the number of older adults served since the pandemic began in March.

Now, they’re hoping the community will step in to help fill the need.

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This scene at Eastern Area Agency on Aging in Bangor is also being seen at four other locations.

“This is our Southern Penobscot distribution site,” explains Jennifer Sheaff, Community Outreach and Program Manager for Eastern Area Agency on Aging. “We also have a Northern Penobscot, Piscataquis county, Hancock County and Washington County sites that are all just as busy.”

Back in February, Meals on Wheels delivered 5,910 meals each week. In august, that jumped to 24,019 weekly meals.

“These meals are all locally produced and flash frozen. And seniors with special diets can be accommodated.”

“We have a lot of older adults who are isolating in their homes for their own health and safety,” says Sheaff.

Because of this, there is a very high need for Meals on Wheels volunteers. Drivers, back up driver, and meal packers are just some of the opportunities available. Time commitments are tailored to those offering the help.

“A lot of families are home schooling right now and this is a wonderful opportunity to show children how to give back to their communities,” offers Sheaff.

“A lot of families are home schooling right now and this is a wonderful opportunity to show children how to give back to their communities."

Jennifer Sheaff, Community Outreach and Program Manager for Eastern Area Agency on Aging

A number of companies also offer incentives to employees that volunteer.

“If you can imagine delivering the meals to somebody that’s going to support their independence, to stay in their home and to age in place,” says Sheaff. “It’s a very rewarding opportunity.”

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If you’re interested in volunteering for Meals on Wheels or signing up for meals, you can log onto Eastern Area Agency on Aging or call them at 941-2865.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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