Area volunteers pack blizzard bags for seniors
Volunteers from Computer Aid, Selective Insurance, Air Products, and Meals on Wheels recently packed 900 emergency food bags ready to deliver to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities in Lehigh County during this winter season.
Every year, Meals on Wheels provides its homebound clients with a day's worth of shelf-stable food items, called "blizzard bags," to be used during bad weather when meals cannot be delivered.
These blizzard bags are provided free-of-charge.
Although last winter's weather was not severe, the bags were delivered during the freak winter storm in late October when the Meals on Wheels kitchen had no electricity and could not prepare meals.
The year before, meal delivery had to be canceled eight times.
The blizzard bags are provided free-of-charge and replaced as needed.
This is the second year Meals on Wheels requested help from the community to collect food so the agency would have enough to pack 900 bags.
Local companies, organizations, individuals and Meals on Wheels volunteers held food drives to collect specific items for the boxes.
The food collection was a huge success, saving the agency $6,000 that can be used to subsidize daily meal costs for clients.
Computer Aid donated the space to store the food.
"Our volunteers brave all kinds of weather, from heat, to rainstorms, to snow," Michele Grasso, development director for Meals on Wheels, said. "However, there are days when icy road conditions or other emergencies make it impossible to deliver meals.
"Blizzard bags ensure the homebound seniors and adults with disabilities we serve don't go hungry when our volunteers can't get to them.
"We appreciate the support of our community businesses, organizations and individuals for collecting and packing this food.
"We are especially grateful to Computer Aid for donating space to store and pack the bags."
Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County has been serving homebound seniors and adults with disabilities in Lehigh County since 1971.
The nonprofit agency serves 350 people every weekday on 33 delivery routes.
Volunteers are the driving force behind this program that provides nourishing meals, well-being checks and social visits.
The agency depends upon the financial support of the community to raise more than $400,000 so everyone who needs home-delivered meals receives them.