Jasper County Meals on Wheels visits bring food, connections

charley@beaufortgazette.comJune 9, 2012 

  • Service provided by Meals on Wheels volunteers at St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Ridgeland

  • 8: Number of years meals have been delivered

  • 16: Number of meals delivered a day

  • 250: Days a year meals are delivered

  • 3,750: Number of meals delivered over eight years

When a Meals on Wheels volunteer heard a cane tapping on the window, he knew someone needed help.

He noticed that no one had answered the door at the home, so he returned to check up on the resident.

The homeowner had fallen and was unable to get help.

This incident is just one of many over the past decade in which senior citizens have received more than just a meal from Meals on Wheels volunteers in Jasper County.

In some cases, the visit from the church volunteers is the only contact the people receiving the food have with the outside world.

"Some don't have immediate family ... The volunteers make sure they are all right," said Carl Roache, executive director of Jasper County Council on Aging.

Meals on Wheels volunteers from St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Ridgeland were recognized with an Outstanding Service Award for delivering thousands of meals over the past eight years.

About a dozen church members deliver food to 16 senior citizens on one of the seven routes throughout Jasper County.

With state budget cuts, the volunteers' work is even more important.

"We appreciate what they have done for us," Roache said. "It has been quite a blessing for us.

"Having them to provide that service has helped our agency be on a more solid financial footing and through the years they have been very loyal to it. Jasper is a poor county, and there are so many people who are not able to have the luxury to undertake something that doesn't generate that income," Roache said.

Roach said the group has not missed a single day.

"We have never had to pinch hit for them," he said. "They have been phenomenal in taking that responsibility by providing the manpower, vehicles and fuel to do the meals."

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