By: Michael Cassidy
Meals on Wheels is located at 620 6th St NW, Winter Haven, FL. The Meals on Wheels program was founded in 1972 by Reverend James W. Kendall with the mission to provide hot, nutritionally balanced meals and a daily contact to the homebound residents of the Polk County area.
And this is exactly what they do.
I went to meals on wheels to volunteer on Friday, January 29. When there I got to prepare meals for the drivers who delivered them, and I even got to do a ride along with a new friend Chris Collany. I started the day off with reading an informational packet on food safety and sanitation. This served the purpose of informing my lecture-style mind on how to properly handle the meals while delivering or doing the prep work. Preparing the meals in the kitchen was insightful to the efficiency of meals on wheels. It was a very clean environment with proper sanitation techniques and the people preparing the meals are friendly and dedicated. As I stood in the line of pseudo-lunch ladies and passed along the meals it challenged my athletic physique and drive to pass along the meals at the speed and quality in which they did. I was a rookie in a long line of experienced servers to say the least. After I had finished with these graceful lunch packing maniacs I took a short break before they allowed me to go for the ride along with Chris. They probably let me take a short break because they recognized that underneath my classy plaid shirt was a fountain of sweat ascribed by something American elementary schools have become familiar with, survival of the fittest. When Chris Collany arrived to Meals on Wheels I was just finishing my final cup of coffee, so I was ready for the ride. Chris has a heart for the people he delivers meals to equivalent to the size of the Grinch’s heart post-Cindy Lou Who, which basically mean he has the heart of ten men. As awkward as having a heart that massive may be when wearing t-shirts, it works pretty well when delivering meals to people who need them. While riding around with him he shared personal wisdom as well as stories about the people he delivered the meals to. He has been delivering meals for about a year for meals on wheels and says that they stay true to their mission. After two hours of testosterone filled bro-bonding and delivering meals we made our way back to Meals on Wheels. It was finally time to call it a day and meals on wheels definitely lived up to their reputation and more.
The wheels on the meals go round and round my friends, the wheels on the meals go round….