• Beltsville News

Meals on Wheels of College Park—Going Strong


Meals on Wheels of College Park (MOW) has been going strong since 1974, serving seniors and the homebound in College Park, Beltsville, and surrounding areas.

MOW has operated out of the kitchen of the College Park United Methodist Church since inception. The Church has been very gracious and accommodating in allowing MOW to continue to operate during the pandemic without missing a day.

Clients receive three nutritious, hot and cold meals each day, three or five days per week. These meals are prepared in accordance with strict dietary guidelines pursuant to Prince George's County nutritional requirements. Typical delivery by our volunteer drivers is late morning to early afternoon, Monday through Friday.

The church kitchen had met our needs because our client numbers were “manageable” in this size kitchen. This is no longer the case. As a result of many factors, MOW’s client list has nearly tripled since March 2020. It has become necessary to recruit more volunteers, both to assist in the kitchen and to deliver meals. This has not been an easy task in recent months as more of our current volunteers have returned to work. At the onset of COVID-19, we lost many volunteers who were older, vulnerable folks. On the other hand, others who were required to work from home or were furloughed came in to serve when they were able. MOW was inundated with much needed hands.

In recent weeks as our volunteers return to work, school, and college, we have seen a dramatic decrease in our volunteer numbers although we still have many dedicated folks who continue to serve. Some have been with MOW for over ten years! However, with an increase in clients, we are now seeking volunteers to help continue feeding one of the most vulnerable populations—the homebound and our seniors who have given so much of themselves for future generations.

Volunteers can sign up for shifts in the kitchen. They will help prepare the cold meals for breakfast and lunch. We welcome volunteers aged 15 and up to help. Drivers will “drive a route” and depending on the number of stops, arrive at 10:45 am for pickup of the thermal bags containing meals and finish delivering by 12 to 12:30 pm. Our drivers are at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license, car, and insurance.

In addition to needing more volunteers, we are seeking another location in the immediate vicinity with a larger kitchen, storage space, a staging area for packing and organizing the meals and parking for volunteers. MOW continues to grow and needs more room! We are asking the public, corporate sponsors, or private entities to help us in this endeavor. If you have any suggestions for available space, please contact Lisa Ealley at lisa@mealsonwheelsofcollegepark.org

We urge you to visit our website at www.MealsOnWheelsOfCollegePark.org; visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mealsonwheelscollegepark/ and our efforts to relocate at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/fund-us-to-feed-them

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