From:                              Cindy Brown [cbrown@fccaa.org]

Sent:                               Friday, May 14, 2010 10:32 AM

To:                                   cbrownfield@fccaa.org

Subject:                          Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels press release

 

Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc.

N E W S   R E L E A S E

(724) 437-6050

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Contact: Cindy Ekas-Brown

May 7, 2010                                      PR/Outreach Specialist                                                              

cbrown@fccaa.org                           (724) 437-6050, extension 4276

 

Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels program

 

Fayette County Community Action Agency Inc. (FCCAA) is in need of volunteers for its Meals on Wheels program.

 

Joyce Miller, director of community service at FCCAA, said volunteerism overall has declined significantly for the local Meals on Wheels program during the past few years.

 

The 46 current volunteers are down from as many as 70 volunteers at one time, according to Miller.

 

“We’re not really sure why the number of volunteers is declining, but we think it might have to do with the fact that many of our volunteers are getting older,” Miller said. “When volunteers get older, they can no longer help. And in many cases, these older volunteers actually need help themselves.”

 

The most critical need for volunteers is as follows:

·         North route, including Gallatin Avenue, Lenox, Lemon, Millview and Coffee streets.

·         South route, including Morgantown Road, Braddock Avenue, Walnut Hill Road and Brownfield Lane.

·         Route 51 area, including Confer Vista, Meridion Point, Oliver, Holiday Mobile Home Park and Phillips.

·         Connellsville Street area and Lemont Furnace.

·         Hopwood area.

Miller said the volunteers are very important because they are the “heart and soul of the program.”

 

“We have volunteers that deliver on 14 routes, and they are wonderful,” she said. “But we want to make it clear that volunteers can spend just a few hours a day or week helping out. It does not take a tremendous amount of time, which makes it possible for many people to do.”

 

The program employs two full-time and two part-time staff members who work as cooks. They and a few dedicated volunteers arrive early in the morning at the kitchen at the senior citizens’ center at 137 N. Beeson Ave. to begin preparing the 300 meals for delivery that day.

 

By 8 a.m., the meals – a meat, vegetable, potato, salad, dessert and milk – are placed in trays, covered, and volunteers are out the door by 9:30 a.m. to cover their routes.

 

Any person interested in receiving Meals on Wheels needs to contact the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging’s (AAA) assessment unit. A caseworker arranges a meeting to determine eligibility, which hinges primarily on the person’s inability to prepare their own meals. The caseworker also can help to identify any other areas of need.

 

Home-delivery services have been available in Uniontown for nearly 50 years.

 

Miller said the first Meals on Wheels program in the county was started by the agency in the 1960s.

 

In the early 1970s, AAA took over the Uniontown Meals on Wheels program, which services Uniontown and South Union and North Union townships. AAA provides the funding for the program, including purchasing and providing the food for Meals on Wheels.

 

Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels can call 724-437-6050, extension 2243, for additional information.