I was incredulous to read in The Squawkbox the comment: “Stop the Meals on Wheels program. It’s too dangerous for the drivers.” This was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the recent robbery of a Meals on Wheels delivery person.
I wonder if the squawker even understands what the program does. It does not deliver meals to people who refuse to work for a living. What it is is a lifeline for elderly and/or disabled, often invalid, persons.
It provides a contact with the outside world, and many of these clients would not have a hot, nutritious meal in a day if it were not for Meals on Wheels. The program, if they meet eligibility criteria, can enable them to remain in their own homes and not have to move to a care facility, thus adding to the state’s Medicaid burden.
The Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County is a Meals on Wheels volunteer; that is to say our club members deliver meals on a lunchtime route every Thursday and Friday and have been doing so for years. As a concession to security, we do deliveries in pairs; to my knowledge there has never been an incident on our route, and it’s my understanding the recent robbery was the first ever for a Meals on Wheels driver. The nearly-universal reaction of the people we deliver to is often an expression of gratitude for the meals program and thanks to the deliverers.
It would be a real travesty if everyone thought like this particular squawker. For me personally, Meals on Wheels deliveries are a mission of charity and compassion, and that mission should certainly not be stopped over one unfortunate occurrence.