Meals on Wheels Durham adjusts to new normal, additional needs

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Like everyone else during the coronavirus pandemic, Meals on Wheels Durham has had to adjust to continue providing services to their clients. The organization went from offering five hot meals every day to sending out five frozen meals one day a week. This was done to protect their clients and volunteers, and transitioning to this system has reduced clients and volunteers exposure by 80 percent. All volunteers receive a mask when working at their warehouse in Durham, along with hand sanitizer and temperature checks at the door. They also set up a drive-thru for delivery drivers so they pull up to receive the meals for their routes and get on their way.

“The caveat to that, as they do the deliveries, we’re also encouraging them to set the boxes at the door, so they can still limit the interaction of the clients that we serve. Now, sometimes we do have clients to have mobility issues, and so we still need to come in, place those items in a safe spot, but we’ve already communicated to those folks as well,” explains Jason Peace, executive director of Meals on Wheels Durham.

The need for food has also increased during the pandemic. Meals on Wheels Durham has seen a 45 percent increase in its weekend meal program and is actively working to reach the increased need daily.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve probably seen about a 10 percent increase in the folks coming off our wait list to become active clients, and we probably anticipate that to be around 15 to 20 percent by the end of the month,” Peace says.

Through grants and donations from the community, the group is expanding its reach to help all of those in Durham County who need it. If you would like at assist, you can click here.

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