WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was a story many of us could not believe. Last week a New Hanover County Meals on Wheels driver robbed in broad daylight while making a delivery. It's a program full of hard-working people, who need more help.
Meals for the program are prepared at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center and then quickly delivered to those who need them. The problem, though, is that the Meals on Wheels program needs more volunteers to help deliver the nearly 300 meals Monday through Friday.
"These are not people who are looking for hand outs. These are people who are looking for a hand up," said Jim McDaniel, New Hanover County Director of Parks, Gardens and Senior Resources. "They're at home. They need a meal. They don't have other relatives around, and we provide that to them as well as that personal interaction that we all need."
But providing that personal interaction is becoming harder for the program. Meals on Wheels is constantly in need of volunteers, especially in the summer. That's when many volunteers tend to vacation and the heat makes it hard for older volunteers. On top of that the program also received some bad publicity last week when a driver was robbed for her purse, but the isolated incident is not phasing current volunteers.
Rudy Boyer, who's been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for four years, says the experience never fails to put a smile on his face. He says he is glad he found the program.
"I just felt that there was a need to give back to the community," Boyer said. "I just felt that after I retired there was a yearning in me that wanted to do something constructive, and I think I found my niche."
As for those on the receiving end of the program, they're thankful for friendly volunteers like Boyer.
"The ones that deliver are really good, really nice," recipient Paul Kyzer said. "I don't have any problems with any of them. I think he's the best one."
If you want to volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program you can drop by the Senior Resource Center at Shipyard Blvd. and College Road in Wilmington, or visit http://www.nhcgov.com/AgnAndDpt/AGNG/Pages/DeliveredMeals.aspx