Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 22, 2013

Greenup Meals on Wheels seeking volunteers

Mark Maynard
The Independent

GREENUP — Greenup County’s Meals on Wheels program is looking for a few good men and women.

Drivers and light kitchen duty help is much needed, said director Stanley Ramey, who delivered the organization’s first meal eight years ago.

He said they serve approximately 30 meals a day with three routes but the need is much greater.

“We’re kind of confined to town now because we don’t have the drivers,” he said. “We could get more clients and go farther out. There’s a lot of need. We got a lot of calls and we tell them, ‘We just can’t make it.’’’

Ramey doesn’t like turning away anybody in need of the hot nutritious meal that is delivered Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Drivers travel around 20 miles roundtrip. He said a typical meal would consist of meat, vegetables, bread and dessert. Meals are $4 a day if they can afford it. “We adjust to their income.”

As important as the meal is to the client, the interaction with the delivery person reaps rewards, too.

“I’ll tell you, I’ve never delivered and wished I hadn’t of,” Ramey said. “Sometimes you have to open the meals for the recepients because they may have had a stroke or whatever. You really don’t have much time to spend with them because the routes are so long and there are so few volunteers. But you can tell when you leave, you have made a difference that day.”

He said that’s true not only for the recepient but their family. “It’s comforting for the families to know somebody is going to give them a call. We have emergency contact numbers for each client.”

Ramey said he had elderly parents of his own and always appreciated someone checking in on them.

Funding for the Meals on Wheels program is strictly through donations, he said, although the help from Huntington Food Bank and River Cities Harvest is invaluable. They supply fresh produce and meat for the organiztion, Ramey said.

“We could not survive without them,” he said. “We are a private group with no state funding.”

Ramey said they also get grant help from the United Way and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

Along with drivers, he said the need for light kitchen duty is also badly needed. Kitchen help is needed from 9 to noon and drivers need to be available from 10:30 a.m. to noon. They are housed in the former Lions Club bulding across from the Greenup County Health Department.

To volunteer for meals or driving, call (606) 834-9421, (606) 473-4858 or (606) 922-8493.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.