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July 24, 2013        OutcomeBuffalo > News

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Meals On Wheels Needs Volunteers To Serve The Homebound

Buffalo — Meals on Wheels for WNY (MOW) is dedicated to providing food and companionship to homebound senior citizens and disabled, handicapped, or severely ill individuals. MOW ensures that the homebound enjoy the highest level of independence possible by offering nutritious food and a friendly visit. MOW delivers nearly 4,000 meals each weekday to clients. This critical community service wouldn’t be possible without the help of 1,500 dedicated volunteers who deliver the meals to recipients.

Buffalo is the 3rd poorest and 9th oldest city in the nation according to a recent report by the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. So it may come as no surprise that the need for meal service continues to grow. “The volunteers that we have are wonderful; however, there is no getting around the tremendous need in the community and the expanding need for services,” Tara A. Ellis, President and CEO of MOW, said. “We need several hundred additional volunteers to ensure that we can continue to serve the community.”

Many MOW volunteers have been volunteering with the organization for decades, with some volunteering as long as 35 years. This is a testament to the connection volunteers feel with the organization’s mission and clients. The majority of MOW clients live alone.  A few minutes of friendly conversation with a volunteer can go a long way for clients’ well-being. Many clients consider volunteers their family members or close friends, and volunteers feel this kinship as well.

Volunteering for MOW is convenient since there are 21 sites throughout WNY. Volunteering takes just one hour a day during lunch time. People can volunteer as often as they'd like - daily, weekly or even just once a month.  In addition to individual volunteer opportunities, companies and organizations can “Adopt-A-Route” and share volunteering among a group of coworkers. This allows even more flexibility and is a great way for teams to bond as they give back to the community.

To learn more about volunteering call 822-2002 or visit www.mealsonwheelswny.org.

Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc. is an independent nonprofit home-delivered meal program serving nearly 900,000 meals annually to homebound seniors and disabled throughout Erie County, who have a limited ability to prepare meals for themselves. With more than 1,500 meal delivery volunteers, Meals on Wheels for Western New York is one of the largest volunteer-based organizations in the region. The essential work done by Meals on Wheels for Western New York is made possible by generous financial support from community members, local foundations and corporations, as well as through grants from the New York State Office for the Aging and Erie County’s Departments of Senior Services and Social Services. —Staff

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