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Thanks to meals volunteers

Among organizations that help the most vulnerable in our community, Suffolk Meals on Wheels is one of the best known and most widespread.

The organization sends dozens of volunteers all over the city Monday through Friday, delivering two meals and beverages to more than 100 clients every single weekday. Like spokes on a wheel, they spread out from the hub of Sentara Obici Hospital, where they pick up meals prepared by the hospital’s nutrition services staff, and deliver them far and wide.

Despite a common misconception, Meals on Wheels isn’t just for senior citizens. It is for anyone who is, for whatever reason, either temporarily or permanently physically unable to prepare their own meals. A young person recovering from major surgery might need meal deliveries only for a few weeks. An older person might need meal deliveries for the rest of their lives.

The volunteers are a passionate bunch that feel strongly about how valuable the service they provide truly is. They’ll tell you it’s not just about the meals — it’s also the friendly face, the daily check-in, the small favors (one volunteer recently changed a lightbulb for a recipient) and the relationships that are built.

Suffolk Meals on Wheels holds an annual volunteer appreciation dinner, which occurred last week at the Hilton Garden Inn. More than 160 attended and, for once, had the honor of being served rather than serving others.

We congratulate these volunteers who were honored for milestone years of service:

1 Year — Marsha Atwood, William Blake, Robert Boyce, Linda Carr, Morgan Carr, Holly Crute, Antheus Hebert, Nina Hebert, Deborah Nadell, Irvin Jenkins, D. Kelly, Garland Moody, Kate Morning, Scott Veselicky, Marianna Friend, Debra Lock, Nancy Foster

5 Years — Jennie Barrett, Carol Ellis, Bill Rissell, Donald Worrell, Thomas Woodward III, Anne Henderson, Bert Henderson, Connie Yow, John Yow, Joyce Mabe, Meredith Russell

10 Years — Ann Lamb, Oscar Lamb, Suzanne Galbreath, Jane Schaubach, Carol Morris, George Tucker, Don Williams

15 Years — Gary Baker, Ron Michalczyk, Jimmie Copeland, Betty Hardy, Clarence Johnson, Charles Foster, Marion Hines, Thomas Hines, Jim Culliton

20 Years — Stan Perry, Michael Halley, Carmen Halley, Fran Duman, Jacque Edwards

25 Years — Lynn Barlow