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Feedmore WNY: Meals on Wheels adjusts following historic blizzard

The ferocious storm interrupted the vital link of meals and visits, so volunteers had concerns about the recipients.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the blizzard some emergency services in the City of Buffalo were not available for a while.

And while the "Meals on Wheels" program of Feedmore WNY is not in the category of first responders, it is still a crucial connection service for some people, so they had to prepare and persevere with the terrible weather conditions.     

Perhaps the high point of the day for some could be that daily delivery to maybe an elderly shut-in person of a hot, nutritious meal, accompanied by the warm smile and greeting of a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver such as Earl Lynch.

He described that connection in this way.

"They're glad to see a face," Lynch said. "You know they're glad to see a body that comes to their house everyday. They can depend on you coming there a certain time every day, and you look forward to it."    

The ferocious storm interrupted that vital link of meals and visits, so volunteers such as Patsy Sharp had concerns about the recipients.

"A lot of them, I talk to them. And some of them make me laugh, and I make them laugh so we talk. I do worry about them," Sharp said.

And then there's that motivation that an in-person meal delivery can bring.

"Some of them depend on someone coming because they can't mobilize themselves around that well," Lynch said. "You know, and since they can't do that, they're probably saying well, 'Hey, I just won't eat today. I'll wait until tomorrow.' And you know we don't want that." 

So while all were snowbound, there was communication with the clients.

"We were providing calls each and everyday that we could not get out to deliver in those first few days immediately after the blizzard. Make sure that our clients were safe and sound in their homes," Catherine Shick of Feedmore WNY said.

Also before the storm hit, there was pre-delivery of nonperishable emergency food kits or blizzard boxes to hold them over for a few days. That might contain items like pasta, canned soups, fruits, and peanut butter.  

But now with the snow largely gone there are these return engagements. As Earl Lynch noted: "You want to take five minutes or so, even though you have other clients. You still want to be there when they're talking because that brightens up their day."

With 5,000 meals provided each day, they are definitely looking for volunteers. To get more information on how to volunteer as a delivery driver go to Feedmore WNY.



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