March for Meals: Special volunteer day for Meals on Wheels

March for Meals: Special volunteer day for Meals on Wheels (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Taking a meal to someone is a simple act of kindness. This month, that act is part of a campaign called March for Meals.

It’s a way for the nationwide Meals on Wheels program to focus on getting some special volunteers.

On Friday, those that protect and serve pitched in to help.

Daniel Ray is a Cincinnati Police Officer. He’s not in uniform on Friday because it was his day off and this is how he usually spends it. Ray is a regular volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

“I get joy out of watching their face light up when you come in with a meal. They like you to talk and want you to hang out. You are trying to leave to deliver more meals and they are trying to get you to stay. So it’s kind of fun," said Officer Ray.

In the March for Meals event, his fellow officers joined him. They started at the Maple Knoll community building where the food was divided up and routes were handed out.

The program is run through the Council on Aging, so for some seniors, it's free. Others pay a minimal amount.

"They pay about five dollars a day per meal and it costs about eight. So there's a discrepancy. We have fundraisers throughout the year," said Megan Gresham-Ulrich with Maple Knoll.

The Meals on Wheels program happens five days a week and serves 31 neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati.

Ray, Lt. Steve Saunders and dispatcher Sarah loaded up and went to Sharonville. It was a visit with 88-year-old Army Veteran James Gross.

“I eat every bit of it. I sop it up and all that stuff," said Gross.

James and his wife Sylvia would have celebrated 64 years of marriage this year. She died last January. He misses her dearly and also misses her great cooking.

“She fixed every bit of my food. I never did. When we sat down to eat it was all sitting there. I never went in there. I couldn’t tell you in 100 years what she did," said Gross.

James proudly showed his visitors his picture scrapbooks and says each day he looks forward to a knock at his door.

"I start looking at the clock thinking, what's going on. Where are you guys," said Gross.

The volunteers always show up. James is one of 330 seniors that not only get food but friendship as well. Though, James did say that he'd prefer that they keep cabbage rolls off the menu.

Meals on Wheels has been serving Hamilton County since 1975.

Here is a link to learn more if you want to volunteer.

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