For many seniors and disabled people in the Lansing area, Greater Lansing Meals-On-Wheels volunteers might be the only smiling face they see all day.
“Sometimes these seniors don’t get to see anybody every single day, so this is the one outside contact,” said Ruth Pell, the supervisor of Greater Lansing Meals-On-Wheels.
It also can be peace of mind for those recovering from medical procedures, such as Lansing resident and Greater Lansing Meals-On-Wheels client Tom Hartford, who underwent surgery several months ago. If volunteers knock on the door and there is no answer, they will contact the appropriate authorities to check on the client.
“The meals are good. If that’s the only meal you’re going to have for the day, you want it to be one of those because food is good,” Hartford said.
Although the program has some hired staff, it mostly is reliant on its vast volunteering network to staff its 48 routes. Some local businesses have stepped up to help, taking on the responsibility of covering some routes themselves.
“The biggest part of it is to be able to give back and have your job, too,” Pell said.