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'Urgent call' | Food delivery volunteers desperately needed in Holland

Many volunteers for AgeWell Services are snowbirds who have left town for the winter, leaving a huge need that is threatening the agency's routes in Holland.

HOLLAND, Michigan — More than 60 seniors in the Holland area rely on AgeWell Services and their Meals on Wheels program to have something to eat, and routes for that program are currently in jeopardy.

On Wednesday, AgeWell, which serves Ottawa, Muskegon and Oceana counties, announced that they're making an "urgent call" for volunteers to replace snowbird volunteers who have left town for the winter. If volunteers don't step up, two to three routes in Holland could by cut by January.

The Meals on Wheels service keeps seniors fed, and is also a great way to make sure seniors are safe and have everything they need.

"Fifty-eight percent of participants in Meals on Wheels say that their only personal contacts that they have throughout the day is with their Meals on Wheels drivers," said AgeWell Services marketing specialist Alicia Roberts.

"We've had instances where the Meals on Wheels driver has actually helped to save people when they've fallen. They're going to knock. They're going to make sure that somebody answers, and if somebody doesn't answer, they'll start making calls to the house and make sure everybody's okay."

Roberts says the position is rewarding for volunteers.

"I actually had the opportunity to follow one of our our drivers a few weeks ago around Muskegon County, and you could see the impact that she was having on the participants that she was visiting. Their faces just lit up when they saw her."

Meal deliveries happen Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will need to have a valid license, their own vehicle and to submit to a background check. Volunteers will be reimbursed for the miles they drive.

To apply call the volunteer coordinator at AgeWell Services, 231-559-0476.

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