Shrewsbury Meals on Wheels volunteers get gift of thanks

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

(l to r) Cliff Gerber, Beth Murray and Owen Russell at Shrewsbury Senior Center,
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers were just beginning to arrive at the Shrewsbury Senior Center on May 14 to pick up their food for delivery when members of Shrewsbury Rotary Club showed up to present them with Dunkin Donut gift cards to show appreciation for what they are doing to help those in need.

There are 14 drivers and their service is especially valued during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Shrewsbury Rotary Club member Cliff Gerber shared that the idea came about during a Zoom meeting when members were thinking about ways to help local people helping on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were talking about ways we could give support to those in the community who were out there, with some personal risk to themselves, who were out there helping in some way,” Gerber said. “We thought of a lot of different things and we will likely do some more of this, but what we felt was manageable at least to start and get our feet on the ground was to pick a smaller group of people and someone came up with idea of the Meals on Wheels drivers.”

“I think that this is a fabulous recognition. These drivers are here every single day…These people [the seniors] rely on these meals, they really do,” said Beth Murray Meals on Wheels site coordinator.

“We have so many who are bed ridden and in their homes and these guys do a great job,” she said. “To be recognized is really nice plus they all love Dunkin Donuts….We are up to 187 deliveries.”

She said that these are people that go out there every day bringing food to people and in some cases making the only social contact that the seniors have all day long. The seniors are afraid to go out and can’t get to the grocery stores.

“As Rotarians we are so used to giving back to the community and being a part of the community. I think over the past eight weeks we’ve felt isolated ourselves,” noted Owen Russell, vice president of the club. “So this is definitely something that we thought we could do.”

For more information about the Shrewsbury Rotary Club visit: https://www.shrewsburyrotary.org.