By Sam Jack
GARDEN PLAIN – Cammie and Robert Dillard moved to Garden Plain six months ago. The couple is retired, but they wanted to remain active. A few weeks ago, Cammie went to City Hall and asked about volunteer opportunities.
“Bonnie (Kopp) says, ‘I’ve got a project for you.’ She gave me Meals on Wheels,” Cammie said.
A previous attempt to offer Meals on Wheels to Garden Plain resident petered out for lack of volunteer availability. The Dillards said they are determined that that won’t happen this time around.
They have been surprised at the number of seniors who need a hot meal delivered to their home.
“Bonnie gave me one name, and by the next day, I had nine,” Cammie said. “We did not know, and nobody else did either, that there are this many people out here who need these meals.”
Eleven seniors, most of them in their 80s and 90s, received Meals on Wheels deliveries Monday, and Kopp said that two more are preparing to sign up.
“These are people who can’t drive, who can’t fix things for themselves,” Cammie said. “These meals are helping them a lot. We’ve got a couple people on the list whose families were worried about them losing weight because they’d rather pay their bills than buy groceries.”
All recipients get a hot meal at lunchtime on weekdays, plus an additional frozen meal on Fridays. Some who need them also get frozen dinners on Mondays through Thursdays.
“We’re doing them by word of mouth,” Cammie said. “As many people as call me, I’m going to try my hardest to get them a hot meal.”
“Our biggest deal is we need drivers, because right now we basically have 11 people and three drivers,” Robert added. “We’re going to have to start a waiting list because we don’t have the drivers, and we don’t want to do that.”
The meals are ferried over to Garden Plain from the Cheney Senior Center each day, and Cheney as well as Garden Plain residents would be welcomed as volunteers. Delivering Meals on Wheels is rewarding, the Dillards have found.
“We’ve had folks cry because they are just so excited to get a hot meal. We get told that they love us,” Cammie said. “When we go home at the end of the day, we’re thinking, ‘This was a good day.’”
To learn more about volunteering as a Meals on Wheels driver, or to request Meals on Wheels deliveries, call Cammie Dillard at 316-250-7636.