Mobile MealsWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Meals of Toledo serves more than 500,000 meals to 1,200 people each year, averaging 600 clients served daily. I only witnessed a dozen deliveries, but it was enough to earn some insight on how much life and freedom can be packed into a large brown lunch bag.
Mobile Meals Marketing Coordinator Mike Toth arranged for an April 9 “media day,” during which writers from the region’s newspapers could deliver meals and see the program up close. As Toth and his band Nine Lives have answered every call for every charity request I have made in the past few years, it was an easy yes.
Toledo Free Press Managing Editor Sarah Ottney, Design Editor James A. Molnar and I met Toth at the Mobile Meals pickup location at the Medical Mutual building on West Sylvania Avenue to load a dozen prepared meals into my car and deliver a route.
Toth explained that for $2.50 a day, participants have lunch, a snack and dinner delivered to their doors. Meals can be arranged for specific medical needs — diabetic, weight control, allergy, low sodium, etc. — and to personal taste, to a point.
“There’s a lot of chicken,” he said, noting its ease of preparation and versatility.
Mobile Meals was launched in 1967 by a group of doctors’ wives who saw a need for support of older or infirm people who wanted to live independently but needed help with meal preparation. The organization now utilizes some 600 volunteers to deliver meals throughout Lucas County and some outlying areas as well.
Carolinea Heintz, one of the Mobile Meals founders, has written, “The official purpose of our service was: The provision of palatable meals that supply essential nutrients to a person who is unable to prepare or obtain adequate meals during a period of need or to someone who is unable to fully understand and prepare a modified diet. This service is for all who would benefit from it regardless of income, with emphasis on the aged.”
Our route took us along Central Avenue down Holland-Sylvania Road and over to McCord Road, with a number of our deliveries concentrated in one apartment complex. We delivered to people who wanted their food left inside a garage with no contact, to people who politely accepted their meals and went back to their day, and to people who wanted to chat and visit over the background television drone.
It became clear within our first few stops how crucial the service is; without these delivered meals, some of the folks on our route would not be able to live on their own. These are folks who can take care of themselves but aren’t hopping in the car to drive to Walt Churchill’s Market. Knowing their food is coming every day must offer great peace of mind, and knowing those meals are smart and healthy must offer similar confidence for families and caregivers.
Mobile Meals is seeking volunteers for its routes, which can take as little as one or two lunch hours per month. Learn more at mobilemeals.org or call (419) 255-7806.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. Email him at email@example.com.
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