Delivering Bliss

Volunteering for Meals On Wheels is easy.

It is so easy that a busy person like the mayor of Jamestown can leave city hall for less than an hour to volunteer his services.

On Wednesday, the annual Mayors For Meals program was held by Meals On Wheels of the Jamestown Area with Sam Teresi delivering chicken a la king and seafood salad croissants to residents in Covenant Manor, located at 23 W. Third St. This is the ninth year Teresi has volunteered to deliver meals to homebound elderly residents in Jamestown, said Barrie Yochim, Meals On Wheels of the Jamestown Area executive director.

“This is important for a lot of reasons. One reason is it gets us directly related to legislators (or mayors) who are directly related to some of the funding we receive,” Yochim said.

One of the meals the mayor delivered was to an old acquaintance, Doris Bloss. Teresi said Bloss used to waitress at Kiwanis events held at the former Holiday Inn.

“I enjoy getting out and meeting the people, and running into longtime friends like Doris,” Teresi said about volunteering for the program. “The people are always happy to see me.”

Mayors for Meals is a national, one-day event started by Meals on Wheels of America to highlight the importance of the program and show local communities the need for volunteers to help provide home-delivered meals to homebound senior citizens. Teresi said Meals On Wheels of the Jamestown Area is a quality organization providing a wonderful service to the community.

“Not every community has it. We are very fortunate to have this well-run program,” he said.

Teresi said he volunteers to not only bring attention to the need for funding assistance, but to encourage people to volunteer.

“It is easy and painless to help people in the community,” he said.

Yochim said the program has about 100 volunteers, with nine routes done in central and southern Chautauqua County each day. He said it takes about a half-hour for the volunteers to deliver meals.

“The program is run by volunteers. We have a volunteer board. We wouldn’t exist without volunteers,” he said.

Yochim said the meals are provided by WCA Hospital, with microwavable meals like the chicken a la king and cold meals like the seafood salad croissant. Meals On Wheels of the Jamestown Area has been delivering meals since 1969. Each year the program serves more than 140,000 meals. For more information, visit www.mowjamestown.org.