We often see food delivery services as a luxury or an indulgence. But for a lot of people, food delivery is their lifeline and very much a necessity. Many individuals live with chronic illnesses, disabilities that interfere with their daily activities, including the ability to cook for themselves. This makes it much harder for them to live a regular or normal life. Services like Meals on Wheels, which delivers prepared food to people who face food uncertainty or who no longer have the ability to cook for themselves, is a community based way of ensuring that our elderly, handicapped, or chronically ill citizens, basic needs are met. For many seniors, Meals on Wheels is the first service that they seek for assistance to help them stay in their own homes and live independently.
Engaging in my community and having the opportunity to volunteer at Meals on Wheels has had a deep impact on me. Socially, I’ve been able to create bonds with other volunteers and a few seniors I delivered to also. Volunteering there, I feel like I have progressed on my communication goal. I loved being able to have simple conversations with people I have just met and feel comfortable at the same time. Participating in my community service not only makes a difference to the organization and people being served but it also makes a difference to my career prospects.
The thing I found most challenging was entering people’s home, without even knowing them. I was raised to always knock, not enter a home until we are invited to do so, to make sure we say hello, and then sit down. I felt a bit disrespectful simply showing up and walking in, even though I’m aware the community we are serving knows to expect us. I realize this aspect of things would simply take time in getting to know everyone, so that I would feel more comfortable just entering their homes as we do.
Overall, I have found this to be a huge learning experience for me. I’m so blessed that I come home daily and my mother has dinner prepared for our family. On days she is unable to do so, due to work or illness, my siblings and I are able to cook for ourselves. This experience has shown me how we take simple things, like being able to cook for ourselves, for granted. It has also shown me the great care our community is willing to provide to help those in need.