Archived Story

Delivering meals and smiles

Published 9:55pm Monday, September 9, 2013

As I have for the past several years, I had the privilege last week to visit the Meals on Wheels volunteer dinner at Bethlehem Christian Church.

Many organizations in Suffolk do good work, but few do it quite so simply as Meals on Wheels. The premise is deliciously uncomplicated — prepare nutritious meals and deliver them to folks in the community who are unable to prepare their own food.

In practice, there is more to it than that. The organization has to work with Sentara Obici Hospital, which plans menus and prepares the food; coordinate the many volunteers who give up their time and money to drive the meals out to the 141 recipients; register people who are in need of food; raise funds for its work, which is not supported by any level of government; and much more.

The good work these folks are doing to help meet one of the most basic needs of their fellow humans should be applauded and supported by all of us. Many elderly and disabled people in the community are unable to provide for their own nutrition needs on a daily basis. Meals on Wheels provides two meals per day that meet two-thirds of a person’s daily needs. Sometimes, doctors even write prescriptions for a patient to receive Meals on Wheels.

Perhaps most important, Meals on Wheels volunteers are able to deliver a smiling face, a kind word and a visitor to check on the welfare of the recipient each weekday. Many recipients would not otherwise receive these things if it were not for Meals on Wheels.

More than 170 people out of the 300 or so volunteers attended the volunteer dinner Thursday night, and many were recognized for years of service — those who have achieved a year divisible by five.

I was unable to fit all the names into my story, and I didn’t want anyone to feel left out. However, I now have the room, so here are those who were honored:

20 years

  • Violet Gomer
  • Jennifer Bradshaw
  • Karen Shaw

15 years

  • Jean Claud
  • Shirley Crocker
  • Vickie Stewart
  • Virginia Norfleet
  • Frank Jordan
  • Barbara Nelms
  • Robert Nelms
  • Lynn Pope
  • Shelby Beale
  • Mary Foster
  • Dot Gwaltney
  • Robert Holland
  • Joyce Neighbours
  • Marion Neighbours
  • Doris Cones
  • Foy Sherman
  • Millard Sherman
  • Carol Hamerly
  • Thomas Brinkley
  • Connie Bunch
  • Guy Bunch
  • Burns Canipe
  • Campbell Tinkham
  • Antoinette Willis

10 years

  • Carol Griffin
  • Catherine Funk
  • Linda Asbell
  • Mary Anderson
  • Theresa Beale
  • Ronald Buckley

5 years

  • Rebecca Duman
  • Kenny Griffin
  • Timothy Davis
  • Joyce Lester
  • Pat Walker
  • Carolyn Harris
  • Frances Smith
  • Patti Harrison
  • Kay Stephenson
  • Mary Kay Miller
  • Ralph Tinkham
  • Ella Ellis
  • Margaret Hopewell
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