Meals on Wheels makes a difference for seniors and volunteers

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Every Monday morning you can find Anna Miner volunteering at the Bay County Council on Aging as part of the Meals on Wheels program.

“We start out about 9:45 in the morning and we come and we pick up the meals,” said Miner. “We first check to make sure we have all our hot meals, and our cold meals and our frozen meals if they’re required,” said Miner

She and Ron Cambier have partnered for a while now. They make sure local seniors have at least one good meal that day.

“On our particular route we have anywhere from 12 to 20 depending on who has signed up for meals,” said Miner. “I call the people first to let them know we’re on our way. That way they’re not surprised and they can expect us.”

Many of the seniors live alone. Some have four-legged family members to keep them company.

Miner and Cambier have their own canine companion

“We have Chica with us,” said Miner. “We are going to provide treats for the canine pals that we come across. We figure it’s just a little bit extra because the canines are very important to the members.”

“They usually consider them their children,” said volunteer Ron Cambier. “And I figure as long as we’re delivering meals to the people we should be giving the kids something.”

You may not think volunteering for Meals on Wheels makes that much of a difference but you’d be wrong.

“Sometimes we’re the only person they see during the day and or week,” said Miner.

Most of the seniors are very grateful for even a minute of interaction.

“I love the Meals on Wheels because I see someone every day,” said senior Brenda Cornwell.

“Are the meals good? Yes. I didn’t think they would be,” said Cornwell. “But add a little salt and they’re really good.”

Some members get one meal for that day others get frozen meals to last all week.

Both Miner and Cambier believe it’s worth a few hours out of their day.

“I have been very fortunate in my life,” said Cambier. “This is an opportunity for me to provide a service to other people who are less fortunate.”

Meals on wheels isn’t the only service that the Council on Aging offers these seniors.

“They will take you to get groceries or take you to the doctor’s appointment,” said Miner. “Someone could come sit with you if you want. A lot of them are on limited income and they don’t have the resources or the support structure to help them. It could be something as simple as taking the trash out.”

“I get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing this,” said Cambier. “Two hours a day once a week is the least we can do.”

Council on Aging does need more volunteers for its Meals on Wheels program.

“You can do it once a week or as many times a week as you want,” said Miner. The meals are delivered Monday through Friday.

If you’re in need of the service or would like to volunteer you can call the Bay County Council on Aging at 850-769-3468. You can also check out their website at or their Facebook page. The council is located at 1116 Frankford Ave. Panama City.

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