Local senior center seeks volunteers to deliver meals

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Cassville Senior Center assistant cooks Kristina Atwood, left, and Joyce Dykes, middle, get help from janitor Delbert Mathews as they prepare meals for homebound Barry County residents. Jason Johnston reporter@cassville-democrat.com

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday routes need drivers

The Cassville Senior Center needs more volunteers to deliver weekly meals to homebound Barry County residents who are 60 and older.

"We are always open and available for anybody who has the time to give back to the community," said Adena Cox-Holloway, administrator at the center.

The center, located at 1111 Fair St., serves Butterfield, Cassville, Eagle Rock, Exeter, Golden, Seligman, Washburn and Wheaton. The drivers deliver hot meals to the homebound residents during lunchtime, Monday through Friday. They also deliver frozen meals once a week or every other week to county residents who live too far out to receive hot meals, such as Seligman.

The center is currently looking for drivers to fill routes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each driver must have a vehicle. The center will perform a background during the hiring process. The Southwest Missouri Office on Aging, which oversees the center, reimburses each driver's mileage once a month.

The center's staff cooks the hot meals and packs each meal into coolers. Drivers pick up the meals between 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. every weekday. The drivers' routes take about one to 1-1/2 hours to complete.

A driver can also have a helper, Cox-Holloway said. The center delivers an average of 4,000 meals each month.

"Our goal is to be able to keep seniors in their homes, healthy and safe for as long as possible," she said.

Trina Bouchard, a volunteer driver from Cassville, said she, her husband, Ron, and her sister, Linda King, deliver meals.

"I've reached out to Adena that we need drivers," said Bouchard, who has been a driver for about a year.

She returned to the area from Dallas more than a year ago to take care of her grandparents, who died not too long after she arrived.

"I needed something to do to fill that void," Bouchard said.

Her husband recommended that she become a driver at the center.

"It's a very, very rewarding situation," Bouchard said. "Sometimes, we are the only people they see all day. It's a symbiotic relationship."

King, who lives in Cassville, said she has been a driver for about four to five months.

"I get worried if a regular client is not on my list," she said. "Sometimes they call if they are not home."

Bouchard said her husband has been a driver for more than a year, and his work lets him take time off to deliver meals.

For more information about becoming a volunteer driver, people may contact Cox-Holloway at 417-847-4510

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