Thanksgiving Week assistance needed for 3,670 meals
Meals on Wheels of Syracuse needs more volunteers during the holidays and winter season. Thanksgiving week staffing is falling short compared to previous years and many regular volunteers are headed south for the winter.
“We’re normally fully staffed with volunteers for Thanksgiving week by now,” said Mason Kaufman, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Syracuse,” but we still have openings. We’re going to need help preparing and delivering 3,670 meals over just four days Thanksgiving week!”
Kaufman is confident that the community will come forward to volunteer and added, “We’ve always benefited from the publicity for holiday volunteer opportunities in the past, such as the United Way’s guide. For whatever reason, we haven’t seen those listings publicized yet this year. The day before Thanksgiving and the day after have traditionally attracted a lot of families to help. Volunteers can do their Black Friday shopping early before volunteering and still be done delivering meals by 1 p.m.”
Kitchen volunteers will help prepare and package meals from 8 until around 11:30 a.m. Volunteers will deliver meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. More than 30 delivery routes need volunteers each weekday. Meals on Wheels of Syracuse will be closed on Thanksgiving Day only.
New volunteers are also needed to replace and/or fill-in for the “snowbirds” who head south for the winter. According to Kaufman, “anytime we lose a volunteer, it’s a huge impact on our ability to deliver meals to hungry, homebound seniors. We’ve already experienced last minute cancellations due to cold temperatures. That’s rare, but it does happen and we understand that some of our volunteers can’t subject themselves to certain weather conditions. We absolutely have to recruit more volunteers in order to avoid waiting lists for our growing list of meal recipients. Many of our program’s regular volunteers have been helping for 10, 15, 20 plus years.”