Vol­un­teers work­ing hard to feed those in need

Glenside News - - OPINION - By Jar­reau Free­man

Vol­un­teers from Eastern Mont­gomery Meals on Wheels know the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing ser­vice with a smile five days a week as they of­fer nu­tri­tious meals and warm grins to those in need.

“We de­liver [meals] and make peo­ple happy,” said Bob Kreisich, who has been vol­un­teer­ing for seven years.

Meals on Wheels has been a sta­ple in Abing­ton Town­ship for nearly 30 years, serv­ing res­i­dents of Abing­ton, Ard­s­ley, Bryn Athyn, Chel­tenham, Elkins Park, Glen­side, Jenk­in­town, Mel­rose Park, Roslyn, Ry­dal and Wil­low Grove.

Newly lo­cated at 1177 Old York Road in Abing­ton, Meals on Wheels de­liv­ers hot and cold meals pre­pared byAbing­ton Memo­rial and Holy Redeemer hos­pi­tals Mon­day through Fri­day to mem­bers of the community who are home­bound.

Meals co­or­di­na­tor Nik Nickens said meals are de­liv­ered be­tween 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day. At a low price to the client, each in­di­vid­ual re­ceives a hot meal like chicken, pota­toes and veg­eta­bles, and a cold meal that usu­ally con­sists of a sand­wich, cran­berry juice and a piece of cake.

“Our meals are low sodium and we also of­fer clients a di­a­betic op­tion, which is low in su­gar,” Nickens said.

He added that upon re­quest, Meals on Wheels will pro­vide clients with an ex­tra meal on Fri­day for Satur­day.

“Our goal is to help peo­ple who are home­bound and can’t get their own food them­selves,” said Ed Sk­il­ton, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Meals on Wheels board.

There is no limit to how long a client is able to ben­e­fit from the ser­vice.

“We have some clients that are young, liv­ing alone and are tem­po­rar­ily get­ting meals and then stop once they have re­cov­ered,” Sk­il­ton said. “Other clients we’ve had for many years.”

With the abil­ity to serve 60 to 70 clients a day and nearly 40 vol­un­teers who help de­liver meals throughout the week, Nickens said that they aim to serve as many peo­ple in the community as they can.

“We want to pro­vide meals to those on a long-term or short- term ba­sis,” he said. “All our vol­un­teers en­joy do­ing this … some­times we are the only peo­ple our clients have contact with all day, so we like to pro­vide con­ver­sa­tion [too] … We have be­come friends with our clients … it keeps the community tight.”

Vol­un­teer Ayal Fein­berg said his fa­ther, David, has been vol­un­teer­ing for many years. He said he re­cently jumped on board as a sub­sti­tute de­liv­ery man when his fa­ther could not make it. Now af­ter two years of vol­un­teer­ing, he said he re­ally en­joys it.

“I en­joy the con­ver­sa­tions that I have with the peo­ple I serve,” he said. “It’s not about the food, but the con­ver­sa­tions, meet­ing new peo­ple and mak­ing sure they are OK.”

To learn about Eastern Mont­gomery Meals on Wheels or to vol­un­teer contact Nik Nickens at 215-885-2206 Mon­day through Fri­day be­tween 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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