Today’s adventure took me to Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association ( MIFA). My assignment was to help with Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers warm and nutritious meals to homebound senior residents around the city. I was looking forward to working with this program because my mom volunteered with Meals on Wheels many years ago. I remember how cheerful she always seemed when she returned from delivering her route.
I met Linda, the Inter-Faith and Outreach Officer at MIFA, who was going to be my partner for the day. She was a small woman with a big personality, and she was overflowing with knowledge about MIFA. We received our route, loaded the car with two coolers of food, one for hot food and one for cold, and headed to our first stop not far from the MIFA headquarters. “I’ll go with you at this first house so you can get comfortable with the routine,” she said. Perfect! At the first house, she pulled out the milk and desert from the cold container, and I pulled out the sealed tray of hot food and bread from the hot container. As we walked up to the door, my hands quickly warmed up from the tray I was holding. I was quite surprised at how hot the “hot” food was! I could smell the aroma of the turkey and gravy that the seniors would be having that day which reminded me of my mom’s kitchen on Thanksgiving. We knocked on the door and were greeted by the daughter of the woman who lived at the residence. With a “Good morning!” and a smile, we handed her the food, and off we went to make our next delivery.
Sometimes, the residents want to chat for a few minutes; sometimes they don’t. The main goal is to ensure they are receiving at least one nutritious meal a day since some of them will eat nothing else.
As we got back in the car, Linda told me a funny story that happened at one of the houses on our route the last time she delivered. As she was walking back to her car, she could hear the elderly woman’s neighbor ask what was going on. The woman explained that Linda had just delivered her meal, and it was a blessing. “What?” the neighbor said. “It’s a blessing!” the woman said. “What?” the neighbor said again. “IT’S A BLESSING!” the woman yelled. We chuckled.
We continued on our route and went to a large two-story colonial house on South Parkway. As we pulled up the driveway, I could tell at one time this was a stately home, but time and the elements were taking its toll on the outside. “I can handle this one,” I said. I gathered the food, carefully walked up to the door on the cracked and buckled concrete of the driveway, and knocked. I could see movement on the other side of the door, so I knew the resident was on her way. Slowly, a walker appears around the door, and ever so gingerly, an auburn haired woman appears, fumbles with the lock on the door, and opens it. “Hey there!” I said. “You’re new!” she responded. I explained that I was helping out for the day and handed her the food, making sure she put it safely down on the table next to the door. She thanked me and told me to have a blessed day. There’s that word “bless” again!
I learned how powerful that word is today after hearing it several times, and after some rich conversations with Linda in the car. A blessing is a gift that should be shared. Something as small as a smile or a “have a great day” could completely change a person’s day. In today’s case, it was a warm nutritious meal provided through the Meals on Wheels program by MIFA. Inter-Faith the “IF” of the organization’s name – signifies people of all faiths working together in the spirit of Martin Luther King’s vision. Now that truly is a blessing.
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