Meals on Wheels means many things to different people. To me it was my first volunteer opportunity when I moved to Chapel Hill 33 years ago.
I love to bake and with three young children involved in many activities, I was baking all the time. When one of my new neighbors, also a mother of a kindergartner, asked me to join her group of bakers for Meals on Wheels I had to say yes! This was a perfect fit! We each baked 36 individuals packaged desserts once a month to supplement the meals that were being delivered to clients. So, for the last 33 years on the the first Thursday of every month I’ve baked!
I usually bake family favorites desserts for our clients. I have made chocolate cakes and brownies and sugar cookies for special holidays. As my family can attest, I also like to try out new recipes. Over the years, I am sure some of the recipients have wondered what dessert they were going to receive that day. As times changed and we have all became more health conscious, I’ve added more muffins , peanut butter and oatmeal cookies to my offerings. I am now much more cautious with nuts. About a year ago, I became aware of the greater need for sugar-free baked goods that many of our Meals on Wheels clients need. As a result, I have included a dozen or more sugar-free baked items to my monthly baking menu.
Meals on Wheels is an amazing organization . I so admire the drivers who in all kinds of weather, in their own cars and with their own gas, make sure that 170 hot meals are delivered five days a week. These terrific people and other volunteers often provide extras for the clients – cards, well wishes and special gifts for the holidays.
A client may pay some of the cost or not at all. Although our cost is over $6.30, no one pays over $5. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels receives no federal funding. All funding sources must be raised each year to pay for the over 43,000 meals delivered each year. A recipient may need Meals on Wheels for a short recovery period or an extended time. In many cases, a delivered meal enables people to stay in their home for a longer period of time.
Their family knows someone will be there five days a week to check on them and provide a bit of company. Our clients have often said they live a better life because they know someone cares.
To perpetuate the wonderful work of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels program, please join me and others at the fourth annual Dining for Dollars event on Wednesday, May 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hickory Tavern in Carrboro. You will experience a special menu selection, wine pull and a silent auction which will include UNC/Duke basketball tickets, a beach vacation, jewelry from Diamonds Direct and a mystery auction item that is guaranteed to be the envy of the night! Tickets are available at chcmow.org.
I am so grateful to my old neighbors for getting me involved with Meals on Wheels. They would have never imagined what joy it has been for me to bake for Meals on Wheels all these years.