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Meals on Wheels is a vital service to area’s shut-ins

POSTED: July 1, 2011 1:00 a.m.

Some of our Hall County commissioners seem to be badly uninformed about the importance of the Community Service Center, especially since they have in mind cutting out funding because of income shortfall.

Let me provide some light, specifically regarding the Meals on Wheels program, which is part of the Service Center.

We have been volunteer meal deliverers in North Hall for a number of years. Unless you've been there, you've no real idea of how important these daily contacts are to the elderly, often infirm and lonely people. For some, the daily hot meal is the only one they get.

For others, and in many cases more important than the meal, is the personal contact. Often, the volunteer is the only person they see to speak with all day. They crave companionship, and we volunteers try to give them some, even at times other than at delivery when we stop by for an extra visit or provide some other needed help.

And most important, each visit is a time to ensure there are no immediate problems or developing problems which need attention such as changes in personal appearance or conduct, condition of residence, or other change. I recall one time several years ago we arrived at one client's house and after knocking, we went in and found him unconscious in his chair. 911 was called and emergency help came quickly. He was almost dead from a stroke. Had Meals on Wheels not arrived, he would have died.

Let's hope our commissioners have better sense and caring than to abort such a meaningful and important community service.

W.A. and Louise Van Valkenburgh
Gainesville



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