SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Your help is needed to make sure seniors in the Ozarks remain well fed. More drivers are needed for the home meal delivery program.
The Southwest Missouri Office on Aging distributes around 150 hot meals a day. For many of the seniors, it may be the only hot meal they get.
"I helped out for three years at the Senior Center packing meals," says Peter Vanzyll. "And then I started having problems and now they're helping me out."
Peter used to help pack meals for the senior center's home meal delivery program-- now, after multiple surgeries, he's on the receiving side of the meals he once helped pack.
"I didn't know I would need their help," Peter says. "But it's more than been enough for what I need."
Seniors all across the Ozarks are in need of healthy meals daily.
"It's the only hot meal I get," says Mildred Lackovic.
"It's very important," says Shirley Blalock. "It assures I get at least one meal a day."
Tracy Ross and Brandy Napier are two volunteers who put aside time in their busy schedules to make sure seniors remain well fed and are checked on.
"I think it's important to get to know them," says Tracy.
The volunteers go home to home helping seniors one meal at a time.
"They care about the seniors," Peter says. "They are short volunteers-- majorly short. And the work is not hard, but it is needed."
To people like Tracy and Brandy, the volunteer work comes easy. They want others to get involved too.
"It could be a day a month or an hour a month," says Tracy. "And it makes a difference."
"It would be rough without it," says Mildred. "Those are the only people I get to meet. I sometimes feel like I should be reciprocating something for their time."
But volunteers like Tracy and Brandy say just getting to visit with these men and women is reciprocation enough.
Drivers volunteering for this program must be 18 and have a valid driver's license. They must also own their own vehicle and have current auto insurance.
All volunteers are also subject to a background check and mileage reimbursement is available.
For more information you can contact the Senior Center at 417-890-1313.