By Rachel Heggen, Community Relations & Development Specialist, MOWDR
At 66, Dianne never imagined she would depend on others to do her grocery shopping. Walking is difficult for her, which makes going to the supermarket challenging, and because she lives on a fixed income, she faces yet another obstacle to obtaining healthy food.
“I didn’t plan on my life coming down to this.” says Dianne. “I had a well-paying job, but now, I’m on disability. With the high cost of living nowadays, it’s really been tough.”
In 2020, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region (MOWDR) partnered with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to launch the Grocery Bag Program to help seniors like Dianne who face food insecurity. Twice a month, a MOWDR volunteer is able to deliver healthy groceries and fresh produce along with her weekly meals.
“It’s a wonderful program,” says Dianne. “It’s been life-saving.”
The Grocery Bag Program provides food to low-income seniors in Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg, Concord, Martinez and Walnut Creek. MOW Diablo Region Grocery Bag Coordinator Casey Claibourne says, “the program currently serves 160 clients, but there are many more people who need the service. The only way we can offer it is to find more volunteers.”
“You can tell most of the seniors are struggling, and from the looks of things, most likely they do not have a lot in their refrigerator,” says Ted Dason, who’s been volunteering since February. “If anyone is considering being a volunteer, I tell them, it’s super rewarding and it literally only takes about two hours every month.”
If you would like to learn more or volunteer for the Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Grocery Bag program, contact Casey Claibourne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOW Diablo Region delivers meals to seniors, 60 years or older, who are homebound, not able to drive, unable to prepare food themselves, and do not have a caregiver that prepares their meals. Meals are provided based on need, not on income. Volunteer drivers deliver over 1,000 hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors every day. Meal deliveries also provide a needed safety-check and is often the only human interaction a senior will have all day.