(Host) Difficult driving conditions in the state have forced many Meals-on-Wheels programs to cancel deliveries.
As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, the nonprofit organizations deliver hot meals to thousands of low-income elderly and disabled Vermonters.
(Keck) Penny Jones manages Meals on Wheels in Rutland, which provides food to about a thousand clients a day. She says their phone has been ringing off the hook with elderly clients worried about getting meals.
(Jones) "This is the third day in the last month that we’ve been closed due to the bad weather and that is very unusual. We really do try to get out to the outlying areas even when the weather is bad because it’s Vermont and we expect it to be bad."
(Keck) Jones says to make sure their clients don’t go hungry during storms, they deliver several emergency blizzard bags that contain a full days worth of nutritious nonperishable meals. Sarah Lemnah, of the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging says they also canceled deliveries to about one thousand Vermonters in the northwestern part of the state.
(Sarah Lemnah) "Typically during a storm like this what we do is our most vulnerable seniors – our case managers reach out and check in just to make sure that they are secure. And that they don’t’ need anything. Because a lot of seniors don’t have families in the area – they don’t have people visiting. And those are the ones we’re most concerned about and we do actually try to keep in touch with them and make sure they’re well during these storms."
(Keck) Lemnah says while most of their clients are used to storms she says many struggle to find help shoveling. And they’re constantly looking for volunteers willing to help.
For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Chittenden.
If anyone is interested in helping, they can call the senior help line for Chittenden and Addison County at 1-800-642-5119.