Making a difference as a North Area Meals on Wheels volunteer
By Mary Beth Roach
As part of the North Area Meals on Wheels program, Clay resident Donna Snowberger is one of 300 volunteers helping to prepare between 450 and 500 hot and cold meals for their 280 clients living in northern Onondaga County.
Q: When and how did you start volunteering for the North Area Meals on Wheels?
A: I started here in 1996.
Q: What was it about this organization that made you decide to volunteer here?
A: I felt like I was doing more for the seniors that needed our help.
Q: Had you worked, retired and then volunteered here?
A: I worked at Goldberg’s Furniture for 19 years, retired from there, started volunteering at Birchwood Nursing Home [now Elderwood] in ‘92 and then came over here in ’96.
Q: What does your work involve?
A: Tuesdays and Thursdays I work the cold line, making lunches, then we bag them up so they can go out with the drivers, and then sometimes I go out front and help on the hot line.
Q: How often do you volunteer here?
A: Twice a week, and I fill in when they need me.
Q: How was it during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: We still came in every day, did all the things we were supposed to do and they got a meal every single day.
Q: You were a lifeline for a lot of people.
A: That’s why I like doing this.
Q: When you first got involved, were you surprised at the number of meals the organization provides?
A: Yes, I didn’t realize— and I don’t think most people realize – how many people need us to make their meals and deliver it to them.
Q: What do you get out of your volunteer work here?
A: I like the people I volunteer with. We make a lot of good friends. We do things outside of here. Just knowing that every day the seniors are getting a nice meal, it’s prepared fresh right here for them.
Q: If someone was thinking of volunteering here, what would you say to encourage them to join?
A: To meet people. Just the feeling that every meal that goes out, somebody’s going to enjoy, and we help make it for them.
Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
For those interested in volunteering, call the office at 315-452-1402 or visit www.namow.org and click on the Volunteers tab for more information.