Meals on Wheels Update
By: Don Jenkinson
The concept of delivering meals to seniors here in San Diego started in 1960 by the women (UMW) of First United Methodist Church in San Diego. Later it became Senior Adult Services. This service grew to a national organization called Meals on Wheels in 1972.
In 1992, our former pastor, Dr. Jim Mahin, was anxious to see Foothills UMC become more active in the community and asked me, while I was on staff with the church, to look into volunteering with Meals on Wheels. A handful of members showed up at our first meeting and endorsed the project and before long we had recruited enough volunteers to staff and entire route in Lemon Grove / Spring Valley. Since then Foothills started a second route in El Cajon. Foothills UMC is the only organization in all of San Diego County that provides volunteers to deliver meals for not only one, but for two routes! Almost 100 members of our church are involved each month; schedulers, telephone reminders and delivery folks.
Meals on Wheels of San Diego County has grown from 53 routes in 1992 when we first started, to 111 routes today and from 649 clients in 1992 to 3,225 clients today who are served by well over 3,000 volunteers. They have their own kitchen providing nourishing, well-balanced meals (hot and cold) supervised by our dietitians and chef.
On July the first of this year, Foothills UMC celebrated 25 years of service to Meals on Wheels. Three cheer! You heard God calling and said, "here I am, send me." Last Sunday, we honored 5 members of Foothills, who faithfully served all those years: Jan Crutz, Sheila Clark, Corine Lord and me and my wife Dot. Congratulations!
New volunteers are needed to continue this ministry. You can phone and say, "here I am, send me," to one of our schedulers, Charlie Folkner 619-670-5971, for the Spring Valley route or Bob Harless 619-654-3465, for the El Cajon route. Applications are available and training will be provided. Is God calling you? You will be blessed, we promise. It's not only the nourishing meals you will deliver, but the social call you will make. In some cases, you will be the only person the recipient will see all day.