#LetsDoLunchAmerica is the call sent out from the Caddo Council on Aging (Caddo COA) to all Caddo Parish citizens calling us to become a Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer. One hour, one day a week is all it takes. Each week Monday – Thursday volunteers reap the rewards found in the smiles on the faces of our seniors who receive nutritious meals four days a week. Volunteering starts with good intentions of helping others, and it’s not just the right thing to do; volunteering is actually good for the volunteer! According to the Mayo Clinic and many other health research centers, volunteering can result in increases in mental and physical health and social well-being of the volunteer.
Our local Meals on Wheels volunteers love to see how the seniors in the program benefit from eating the healthy meals provided each week. The service is designed to help seniors maintain their independence as they face financial, physical, or emotional hardships. Volunteers have the opportunity of watching seniors gain their strength back week by week by simply enjoying four hot lunches each week. Often when seniors are new to the lunch program, they can be so frail and in great need of nutrition and friendly company. After just a few visits, volunteers can really start to tell the difference in their seniors’ physical strength and mental acuity.
The Caddo COA Meals on Wheels program allows Caddo seniors to stay in their homes and stay independent. A healthy meal provided a few times a week and delivered to the door by a friendly volunteer can be just enough support to enable a cherished senior to continue living as a part of our community. Not only is lunch on the menu, but a sort of a lifeline from the community in the form of our volunteers reaching out to our needy seniors who simply need to be checked on every day. The daily contact of our seniors with the drivers is so vital to their well-being. This program also provides a yearly wellness check for seniors. The volunteers love what they gain from their experiences, and they often look at their senior clients as elderly role models who offer interesting and often delightful stories and even helpful advice.
According to the senior clients, picnic-style menu days are the most popular because hotdogs and hamburgers are their favorites, and fortunately, Meals on Wheels can supply them! Unfortunately, our seniors may be in need of prepared foods due to frail health, and they may be unable to shop and/or cook for themselves. Nutritious hot meals are planned and prepared to meet one-third of the daily requirements for senior nutrition, as determined by the USDA. Nutritious low-fat meals with no added salt are delivered to the homes of senior citizens who are 60 years or older and who are homebound, living alone, and have physical disabilities that prevent them from preparing an adequate nutritional meal. Our seniors do not have the support of family and friends on a regular basis, and there is usually a very long waiting list for this program.
AMERICA, LET’S DO LUNCH™Drop off a warm meal, and get more than you expect when you volunteer with Meals on Wheels.
The Council On Aging, Inc. sponsors community meals all over Caddo Parish. There is such a need in the community for this service. Currently, Caddo COA serves over 1,076 seniors each week. According to the director, Monica Wright, “You know a senior is in need when they offer their own support to someone else in need. That’s how you know they need the care more than ever.”
Caddo COA is always looking for more volunteers! It’s an ongoing struggle to help our local seniors. Many referrals for new senior clients come in daily, and Caddo COA volunteers can find it hard to keep up. We need more support. And the good news it’s easy, and just think, you can help yourself by helping someone else by joining the Meals on Wheels volunteer crew! For more information, pick up the phone and call Monica Wright at 318-676-7900 or visit caddocoa.org.
Please help support Meals On Wheels and our local seniors by donating to the:
Meals on Wheels Program
c/o Caddo Council on Aging
1700 Buckner St., Suite 240