Meals on Wheels gets new home

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It was a double ribbon cutting for the Meals on Wheels staff.

Tuesday afternoon, about a dozen city leaders, staffers and supporters gathered at the new satellite office for the Meals on Wheels to unveil a new direction for the non-profit organization.

Sharon DeWitt, executive director for Suffolk Meals on Wheels, said she applied for grant money from the Obici Healthcare Foundation last year. During the application process, she was told the grants had to be used on new initiatives or programs.

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DeWitt said they decided now would be the best time to branch out the service area from Suffolk into Isle of Wight County and Smithfield.

“We’ve been in business for 22 years in Suffolk,” she said. “This seemed like the best time to expand.”

Isle of Wight County is so expansive that the organization needed to have a vehicle that could keep foods cold/warm for the duration of the trip to the homes from the Obici headquarters.

With a plan in place, DeWitt received a grant from the Obici Foundation to purchase a custom-designed truck that can heat and refrigerate foods during the delivery route. Additionally, the grant funds the operation of a satellite office on Godwin Boulevard just a couple of miles from the Obici headquarters.

Tuesday afternoon, DeWitt along with the Meals on Wheels staff, Vice Mayor Curtis Milteer and Tim Mounie, chairman of the Meals on Wheels board, cut the ribbon around the new vehicle as well as the new office space.

“It’s exciting,” DeWitt said. “The hardest part is getting the word out to the new area. We want people to call us about their friends, their neighbors who might need our help. It’s hard work planning it, but its even harder work when you’re getting everything in place.”

Suffolk Meals on Wheels is a 501c3 non-profit agency, which was established in Suffolk in March of 1987. Its mission is to improve the quality of life by providing home delivered meals to the elderly, disabled, frail and needy residing in Suffolk, Windsor and surrounding areas. Meals on Wheels receives support from Obici Hospital, recipient fees, fund raising, grants and volunteer services.