By Shoshana Stahl SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News)– Meals on Wheels in Syracuse is celebrating its 60th anniversary but it’s not all one big celebration. This year they are also facing a shortage of volunteers.
Meals on Wheels here serves over 400 clients every day. By the end of 2019, they are on track to prepare and deliver around 200,000 meals. Over the last five years, they have seen an 18 percent growth in meals needed.
Two of the biggest issues with seniors in America is food insecurity and isolation, according to officials at Meals on Wheels. Drivers like Thomas Bassett feel that they are able to help with both of these problems through food delivery and friendliness.
“This specific program allows me to have person to person interaction with individuals who I never would have encountered in any other setting,” Bassett said.
In New York State, one out of every seven seniors struggles with hunger. They count on these meals to provide them with lunch and dinner.
The harsh Syracuse weather and the time volunteers are needed for prep and delivery make it hard to find enough people. Retired people and students are their most common volunteers. They currently have 450 volunteers but 30 routes to deliver to each day.
For information on how to get meals delivered or to become a volunteer you can go to meals.org.