Crew at Carson City Senior Center delivers through pandemic
Well before dawn, a kitchen crew arrives. Ovens are turned on; food is pulled for today’s meal. Sheet pans are lined, steam pans are filled. Hundreds of disposable cups, trays and lids line the countertops ready to be filled.
The crew preps intuitively – they’ve done this many times before. The crew is the Carson City Senior Center. It’s just another morning at the center.
The kitchen bustles as the next wave arrives, more unsung heroes putting themselves on the front line, the Meals on Wheels drivers.
Drivers load their vehicles with racks filled with fresh meals, fruits and desserts. Milk crates are loaded one by one. Extra meals are added to cover the weekend. It’s no easy task feeding Carson City seniors.
After counting and recounting their meals, the drivers are off delivering to the homebound. Routes have grown to include seniors isolating to keep themselves safe or those have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for getting sick.
At each stop, the driver exits the vehicle to retrieve the meal. A task repeated 70-110 times each day, in and out of the vehicle, up and down apartment stairs, rain, shine, ice or snow, over and over. Hustling to their next stop, saying hello from a safe distance, delivering the meal then on to the next. When a door is not answered, a call is placed to the home to make sure the senior is OK. Welfare of Carson City seniors is just as important as the meal.
Stop after stop, meal after meal, Meals on Wheels delivers.
A third crew activates, the staff running the drive-thru meal program at the Senior Center. Cones line the parking lot with signage instructing you where to go. To-go meals are assembled near the entrance. Eleven o’clock starts line of cars waiting for a meal. Seniors are checked in and meals are handed through open car windows. Some days music is playing and staff dresses up to liven the day and bring smiles to many.
At the end of the day, Meals on Wheels has fed on average 375 seniors and the drive-thru program has fed approximately 100 more.
These unsung heroes do this Monday through Friday, with the weekend to recover. Help them feed Carson City seniors by making a monetary donation or dropping off pantry items or toilet paper.
If you are a senior needing a meal, call 775-883-0703 for information or visit the drive-thru meal program, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-noon. For information visit http://www.carsoncityseniorcenter.org.
Courtney Warner is the executive director at the Carson City Senior Center.