Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: Medium

What’s What: Do you want to help a senior who is home alone with no way to shop or cook? Volunteer with Meals on Wheels and build community by delivering a hot meal to a neighbor!

Amava Take: Nine million seniors in America struggle with hunger and 15 million live in isolation. Become a volunteer with Meal on Wheels and deliver meals to help seniors live independently. For some seniors, you may be the only contact they have with other people that day. Research shows that Meals on Wheels programs improve diet quality, reduce isolation, and improve quality-of-life among the recipients. If you have a few hours each day, week, or month, you can deliver meals and brighten a senior’s life.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

Friendly, compassionate people with a car and a clean driving record who are able to commit to a shift on a regular basis to deliver meals.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Do a trial run driving your route before delivering any meals.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Usually, volunteers pick up meals at a central location and deliver them directly to the homes of seniors in their area. When delivering the meal, volunteers generally check in with the clients to make sure they are okay through a friendly greeting or brief conversation, but don’t stay with the client for the meal.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Getting to talk to the people I deliver meals to and hearing about their lives.

How would you describe the hard parts?

When clients want me to stay longer, it’s hard to leave without feeling like I’m being rude, but I need to get to the next delivery.

What do you learn from doing this work?

How easy it is to connect with people even if you thought you had little in common with them.

Special Requirements: Generally you need a reliable car and up-to-date insurance. You also need the ability to engage with many types of people and good listening skills. Usually you need to provide references and submit to a background check.

Related Classes: Interpersonal Communication, Keys to Effective CommunicationSkills for Making Great Decisions

Finding a Position: Go to Meals on Wheels for more information and to fill out an application. If you want to know more about what it’s like to volunteer, read this article.