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Life After 50: Meals On Wheels – a lifeline for our homebound seniors

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Essential, critical, life sustaining.

During these challenging times, these are words that generally refer to healthcare workers, first responders and even grocery store employees and delivery people. I would like to bring to light another group of dedicated people – the people who make the Meals On Wheels program at the Newark Senior Center a possibility.

A small but dedicated staff serve each day preparing a hot meal, bag supper, hot soup – all made from scratch. Even during this pandemic, these fresh meals have been prepared and delivered to 170 homebound seniors throughout our community. This past month we delivered more than 5,000 meals.

A small army of dedicated volunteers give of there time to help homebound seniors in our community. The Newark Senior Center has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of meals we service during this crisis. Some individuals who may have been able to shop and cook for themselves no longer feel safe doing so because of underlying health concerns. We are so grateful to our volunteers who leave the safety and comfort of their homes to deliver these much-needed meals.

For most, we now have a greater appreciation for so many things that we once took for granted. Many of us are experiencing for the first time how it feels to be isolated in our own homes. For the homebound seniors in our community, this is their life – not just during the times of crisis. Imagine for a moment how grateful you would be to see the friendly face of the Meals on Wheels volunteer coming to your door. That simple human connection is just as important, if not more important than the hot meal they are delivering.

It is with much gratitude that I thank our staff, volunteers, and the community supporters of the Meals on Wheels program at the Newark Senior Center. The Newark Senior Center has served this community for more than 50 years, thank you to all who have made that possible.

Carla Grygiel is executive director of the Newark Senior Center. She writes a regular column in the Newark Post that highlights issues facing seniors in Newark.

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