There's a part of the City of White Plains few people have access to, and Meals on Wheels offers volunteers the chance to connect with it every day.
During a short ride through town, volunteers are able to make connections with senior citizens, meet people they may never have otherwise and help their community.
"You're really connecting with a piece of the City that is sort of invisible unless you go and look for it," said Susanna Sussman, director of the White Plains Meals on Wheels program. "Where else do you meet someone who survived the Holocaust? We're talking about people who are possibly over 100 years old."
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Although most of the program's clients are senior citizens, volunteers deliver food to anyone who is no longer able to shop or cook for themselves. Volunteers are sent out in pairs on six routes throughout the week, delivering a warm and cold meal.
It's a rewarding experience that not only gets food to people who need it, but also provides a valuable service to people living alone who rely on a daily visit to make sure nothing is wrong.
"We're giving them food, but we're also making sure that they're okay," said Sussman, who has worked at meals on wheels for seven years. "If someone doesn't answer the door, I follow up with emergency contacts."
For the clients, the daily visit can also be the only human interaction they have during the course of a day, Sussman explained.
With the summer quickly moving toward fall, the program is in need of a new batch of volunteers. Although there are about 100 active volunteers, the recruitment of more help is an on-going effort for the organization.
"(Volunteers) are integral to this whole operation working," Sussman said.
The program's volunteers have the choice of taking a regular route or being placed on a standby list where they can be called to sub in. The route itself begins with food pickup at 11:15 a.m. at White Plains High School and takes one hour to 90 minutes.
"In a quick amount of time you can help a lot of people," Sussman said. "It's really meaningful for the volunteers, once they're on a regular route they tend to really get to know the clients."
Anyone interested in volunteering with meals on wheels is urged to call 914-946-6878 or click here for more information.