In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, while so many residents had no electricity, a hot meal became a highly sought-after item, and people had a greater appreciation for them. But there are many in our area who cannot prepare or secure hot, nutritious meals on a daily basis. Meals on Wheels of Randolph County, Inc. has been filling this need for 40 years.
Meals on Wheels of Randolph County Inc. incorporated in January 1973 and delivered 80 meals in February of that year. Today, the group, with the help of 20 volunteers, deliver more than 1,300 meals per month, serving more than 70 different individuals daily.
The organization was established to provide these nutritious meals at mid-day on Mondays through Fridays to shut-ins who are unable to secure or prepare a hot meal for themselves. Meals can be based on regular diets, but Meals on Wheels also offers diabetic and special requirement meals. Services are available on a temporary or continuing basis. In the beginning, meals were prepared on a two-month rotation between Davis Memorial Hospital and the former Memorial General Hospital. Dr. Anna Dale Kek, a retired professor from Davis & Elkins College, coordinated the program. The Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church was home to the Meals on Wheels office. In 1973, board members included Adna Thomas, Calvin Hobart, Richard Cardot, Virginia Chabut, Richard S. Gibson, Mary Griffin, C.C. Harrington, J.R. Hensil, Irene Nestor and Betty Lou Ralston.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Volunteer Marg Shields separates meals in her vehicle before heading out to deliver Meals on Wheels Tuesday. The Meals on Wheels of Randolph County program has been providing hot, nutrition noon meals to elderly and disabled individuals in the Elkins area for 40 years.
Currently Betty Legg coordinates the Meals on Wheels of Randolph County program assisted by Kitty Carr.
"One advantage of Meals on Wheels is that it frequently is a step to delay the beginning of in-home care services or helps keep clients in their own homes," Legg said. "With the use of our service and family support, many individuals are able to continue living independently for years longer than they would have."
Legg said Meals on Wheels charges a low per-meal fee to individuals. The meals, currently prepared by Davis Memorial Hospital, are prepared and packaged for a less-than-cost fee. Also, the Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church has provided office space free of charge for the group.
Other funding for Meals on Wheels comes from the United Way of Randolph County and the Randolph County Commission. Donations come from many local churches, individuals and families. A grant from the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services has also provided funding for the past three years.
Volunteer board members for Meals on Wheels currently includes Dave Vandenbergh, Tom Williams, Bill Clark and LuAnn McDowell. Currently, the organization is in need of volunteers to make deliveries of meals. All deliveries are made by volunteers who donate their time, their own vehicles and their own gasoline without any monetary compensation. Deliveries take less than two hours, and a typical delivery route is about 20 miles. Meals are delivered by teams of two one who drives and one who delivers.
"We are in great need of delivery volunteers," Legg said. "You do not necessarily need a vehicle to help."
For additional information about Meals on Wheels of Randolph County Inc., call the office at 304-636-4919.