Thursday, October 11, 2012
Meals on Wheels recently completed construction on its new meal center kitchen near Old Town. The program has been providing San Diego seniors with nutritious meals since the early 1970s and is now in need of volunteers to help out in the upgraded facility.
"It can fit in everyone's schedule. Just a couple of minutes a day, a couple hours a week -- that's all it takes," said Patti Guice, a volunteer and community adviser for the program. She's been volunteering with Meals on Wheels in San Diego for six years now and said it all goes back to her early childhood and a newspaper article.
"And it talked about some seniors were not getting fed and were going without food because there weren't enough volunteers to be able to fill that need," Guice said, recalling when Meals on Wheels delivered to her grandparents when she was growing up. "And I made a decision that day I could volunteer because I had not only seen it for one grandparent, but both of my grandparents in Chicago, so that's when I started to volunteer and haven't stopped since," she said.
The daily work at the Meals on Wheels kitchen didn't stop either during the three month remodel, which transformed a small, cramped space into a new commercial kitchen. Now their goal is to control costs and provide flexibility in creating more healthy meals.
"We couldn't do it in the past because our sandwich room was far too small. We need volunteers to help in the kitchen now," said Debbie Case, CEO for Meals on Wheels in San Diego County. "There are shifts from 9 a.m. to noon or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so if you have that time during the day, even one day a week, it could truly help us out," Case said.
The program provides two meals per day for 2,300 seniors throughout the county, and in January, they're adding a new healthy Latin Cuisine to the menu.
"Meals on Wheels is here so no senior goes hungry, and that's what we're about," said Case.