Home Delivered Meal Program in need of more volunteers

FORTUNA- More than 150 seniors in Humboldt County benefit from the Humboldt Senior Resource Center’s Home Delivered Meal Program.  But now the program is in need of more volunteer drivers.

Lila Reynolds uses a walker, can’t drive and experiences shortness of breath.  She says having hot, nutritious meals delivered right to her door is comforting.

"I don't have to go in to try to find something to eat.  I don't have to cook.  It's right here and the people are so delightful and I look forward to it.  I don't have to go scrounge," said Reynolds.

The Humboldt Senior Resource Center Home Delivered Meal Program operates in Fortuna, Eureka and Arcata. Four hot meals and one frozen one are delivered to seniors each week.  Each meal contains a protein, starch, milk, fruit and vegetables.

"They're unable to get out, do their shopping, cook their meals.  If it wasn't for this, they wouldn't be getting that food,” said Launa Salsbery, the Fortuna Dining Site Coordinator for the Humboldt Senior Resource Center.

However, more volunteer drivers are needed in each of the cities, with Fortuna having the biggest need.

"Normally, we like to have 12 drivers, so each driver does about 10 houses.  It gives everybody time so they don't feel rushed and the seniors get to talk to them.  Unfortunately, right now, we have five drivers, so we have less than half of what we usually like to have," Salsbery said.   

Less time to deliver the hot meals means less time volunteers can spend with seniors.

"I could use more time because you want to get the meals there nice and hot and people do enjoy a few words of visiting time and if I had more time, I would use it," said Sally Dwelley, who has been a volunteer driver for about two years.

"It's nice to have the people come to the door because there are some days that I don't talk to anybody even on the telephone so that's kind of nice to have somebody come, even as brief as it is, it's nice to have somebody to talk to," Reynolds said.

Volunteers say working in the Home Delivered Meal program is a rewarding experience.

"These people depend on this meal and I'm glad that I can get it to them in a timely manner.  They're hot, delicious, nutritious meals and they appreciate them," Dwelley said.

To become a volunteer with the Home Delivered Meal Program, call Launa Salsbery at (707) 725-6245.