Volunteers brave cold to deliver hot meals to seniors - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Volunteers brave cold to deliver hot meals to seniors

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. -- Every weekday morning, five volunteers are at Williamson County Programs on Aging packing up hundreds of meals to deliver to seniors at their homes.

One of those volunteers is Robin Malony, who helped distribute Thursday's 163 meals in the cold weather. Malony's route takes her throughout the county first stopping in Marion then farther out, "All the way over to New Dennison to the Lake of Egypt. Pulley's Mill and then back around to the Spillway." 

Malony mostly has her routine memorized except for a few new stops and repeats the same process. She pulls up to each house and braces for the moment she opens the van door, quickly grabs the meal, and walks briskly to the front door for delivery. 

One senior on her route is Lee Turner, who's newer to the program. The Marion resident says it gives him one less thing to worry about, plus he enjoys the company. 

Malony says the volunteer work is about more than just delivering a meal, "They are sweet old people and they need somebody to bring them something to eat and check in on them."

Robert Childers, the organization's director, says volunteers must hand deliver meals as part of a welfare check. They also note other issues such as the home's heating and cooling systems.

"We go to a lot of them and they’re not sufficiently heated," Childers explains. "We go in there and we find that they need more heat or something. Some of them are in bed, wrapped up." 

For now, Malony just enjoys making a difference in someone else's day. "It’s helpful to them. People thank us everyday for coming out," she says. 

Childers says the five volunteers home deliver nearly 70,000 meals a year. He's in need of 15 more volunteers to help with program. 

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