Hunger Doesn’t Stop for a Holiday: A Volunteer’s Experience on Labor Day

The staff at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster would like to extend a hearty “thanks” to all the volunteers that shared their time with us on the morning of Labor Day 2019. One of those volunteers, Barbara, wrote about her experience:

“When I agreed to volunteer in the back of the house (kitchen) for Meals on Wheels of Lancaster on a short-staffed Labor Day Monday, 2019, it didn’t take long for me to become pleasantly surprised within the work environment. When I first entered the kitchen 10 minutes before 8:00 am, when my kitchen shift began, I followed the lead of a few passionate chefs who were geared up in gloves and hair nets, chattering about the menu of the day.  

I was given the task of filling hundreds of side dish containers with freshly made coleslaw. I got right to it. Soon, I had a helper. Within an hour more people showed up and things really got hot (preparation of hot food that is!). Aromas that aimed for my senses filled the space … I wanted to gobble up everything in sight! It turned into Grandma’s kitchen: delicious homemade turkey stroganoff with fresh mushrooms was simmering away in a big Dutch oven, Brussel sprouts were cooking, and scrumptious apple and cherry crisps were bubbling, straight from the hot oven. 

 Feelings of gratitude and a sense of community togetherness swept over me as we kept moving. An assembly line of people scooping food and sealing containers contributed to hundreds of meals being prepared for delivery to folks all over Lancaster who might not have a hot meal otherwise. I was like a kid in a candy shop with excitement just to use the sealing machine; I sealed hundreds of containers. It was amusing, as if I just stumbled upon a brand-new invention.

Barbara (right) showing off the meals she made with Kitchen employees Huntyr (left) and Lynn (center)

Prepared meals started to pile up, as did the line at the pick-up counter; another group of smiling and dedicated people, the delivery/companionship folks who show up right before lunch time to pick up and deliver meal after meal to hundreds of clients five days a week, including holidays! All these people had come together from all walks and ages of life to make good things happen!  I felt purposeful without a paycheck in stepping away from the busyness of my own life schedule to make a difference in the lives of others.  Even more, Meals on Wheels knows how to get the job done; it is truly an impressive and strong operation.  From preparation, execution, and cleanup, the efforts were there! The organization can count on me again and I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new faces!  Thank you to everyone who made my experience worthwhile.”

If this experience sounds interesting to you and you would like to join us through volunteering, please reach out to us online at https://mealsonwheelsoflancaster.org/volunteer/ , email Volunteer@MealsOnWheelsOfLancaster.org, or call our office at 717-392-4842