PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) –Not everyone can make it out to visit family and friends on Thanksgiving — but one organization is working to make sure they still have a happy holiday.
Meals on Wheels employees are up bright and early the day before Thanksgiving, packing dinners for homebound community members.
“Tomorrow morning volunteers will be at 5 different sites around 3 counties delivering these meals to the homebound,” said Executive director Suzanne Washington. “[For] seniors that really need the meal — who don’t have family or friends to go to.”
Five-thousand meals are prepared here every day. They’re served in several dining centers around the area along with home delivery service to the 2,800 elderly in the community who are unable to get out of their house.
While the meals that are prepared and delivered each day of the year are important, it’s the friendly face and small interaction that really make the difference.
“Isolation has been equated to smoking 15 cigarettes a day for older people,” explained Washington. “The effect on their health is as if they were smoking that much — on their mental health and their physical health.”
The spirit of the season is a spirit that never shuts off in the Meals on Wheels kitchen. Volunteers delivering meals to homebound people on Thanksgiving are in many ways just as nourishing as the food itself.