With demand rising amid pandemic, Meals on Wheels volunteers are needed

Posted at 8:59 AM, Jul 15, 2020

Every week we tell you about Meals on Wheels, an organization that provides aid to the elderly across the nation and in South Florida.

They offer an array of services and without volunteers, the amount of work that's put into the organization every single day and week week, wouldn’t be possible.

“What’s going on here today? Today I’m going to be delivering meals to five different people, I do this every Tuesday,” said Elizabeth Bitros, volunteer for Meals on Wheels South Florida.

That smile on Elizabeth Bitros face is what homebound seniors love to see.

“They’re very appreciative. In fact one of my clients every week wants to give me something after I deliver food to them. It could be a bottle of water or gatorade. They’re appreciative that they want to say thank you by giving me something,” said Elizabeth.

“The people are very friendly, nice and helpful. They actually speak to you. It’s not like they just drop off the box and take off running. They’re here to help you,” said Jose Diaz, homebound senior.

According to Mark Adler, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels South Florida, the nonprofit has seen a vast increase in the number of seniors in need of meals because of the pandemic.

Before COVID-19, they were providing for 10,000 homebound seniors. Now they’re serving over 13,000.

“Older adults who weren’t homebound before now are scared to go out so there’s a huge increase in the number of older adults that are homebound who want to get home delivered meals,” said Mark.

The meal delivery service is something those in need are counting on now more than ever and with the help of volunteers, the organization has been able to provide for those thousands of seniors in need.

“The volunteers are the heart and soul of everything we do. Without them we couldn’t even do even a 10th of what we do and they’re the ones that our seniors rely on and they see them every week. They do a little safety check and they check in with them, even from a distance. So they really rely on that to reduce their isolation and let them know that people can care about them,” said Mark.

“I feel good that I can help out right now because I’m the kind of person that wants to do and help, so this gives me a chance to help people that need it,” added Elizabeth.

Mark says with the need for meal assistance increasing everyday, they need volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer or donate to Meals on Wheels South Florida, click here.