By Kathy Collins
Are you looking for an interesting and rewarding way to volunteer? Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOW of Tampa) is in need of area volunteers, especially those who speak Spanish, to help serve routes in Palm River, Progress Village and East Tampa. MOW of Tampa serves approximately 700 meals per day to seniors and homebound residents.
There are several ways that volunteers can help. In October 2015, MOW of Tampa launched POW! (Produce on Wheels). According to Lauren Vance, director of communications, “After a needs assessment was done, we developed POW!. This was done to increase our senior and homebound recipients access to fresh produce.”
Volunteers deliver bags of produce once per month on the third Saturday of the month. Volunteers pick up the bags of produce along with a route sheet and driving instructions and deliver the bags. Once the bags are delivered, the job is finished.
Volunteers are also needed for regular routes to deliver meals once per week to recipients. It takes about one hour to complete. Drivers must be 18 years old, have an automobile, a valid driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance and consent to a background screening. Children may ride along with guardians. This is a great opportunity for students to receive Bright Futures and community service hours.
“One of the many benefits of volunteering is the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the growing population of the homebound and senior members in Tampa. This is done by delivering a meal to people who desire to live independently in their own homes. In addition, volunteers offer caregivers a peace of mind that their loved ones will receive a meal, a friendly conversation and a daily-check,” said Vance.
MOW of Tampa also has availability for seniors and homebound who are in need of the services. If you know someone who wants to retain their independence, but needs the assistance of having meals delivered to them by a caring volunteer, visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/mealservice/.
MOW of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. MOW of Tampa relies on support from the community and does not receive government funding.
To volunteer, sign up at www.mowtampa.org/programs/pow or www.mowtampa.org/volunteers/volunteerneed/.