MISSOULA - Meals on Wheels is a program through Missoula Aging Services that delivers hot meals to Missoula County residents who are homebound or cannot grocery shop for themselves.
March is named 'March for Meals' every year nationally and through Missoula County as a way to encourage donations and volunteers.
Since the pandemic, Meals on Wheels in Missoula County has seen a 50% increase in clients, according to development director Allison Strekal. She says they average 370 people a week, and 2,300 meals.
The meals are delivered by volunteers, who spend an hour to 90 minutes on weekdays delivering meals to homes on their routes. Meals are delivered all over the county, from Seeley Lake to Lolo. Strekal says the 130 volunteers are very dedicated, and they even have one man who drives 100 miles on his route.
March for Meals is meant to bring awareness to the program, not only for people who want to donate or volunteer but also for those who want to sign up for meals. It is also a month of fundraising, where the community is asked to donate monetarily to Missoula Aging Services.
“It’s a great service that we offer here in the community and we want as many people to know about it as possible," Strekal says. "People can sign up for it, people can help us by volunteering, we’re always looking for volunteers. The second goal of the program is we invite the community to donate to meals on wheels. You know it takes a lot of money to keep the program going, and we do encourage donations from the public.”
Additional information about Meals on Wheels, including how to donate or volunteer, can be found here.