Meals on Wheels helps seniors in cold weather

January 24, 2013 9:02:51 AM PST
During this bitter blast it is important to keep an eye on your neighbors, especially seniors.

Eyewitness News followed a woman who works for Meals on Wheels and her job is to deliver hot meals to people who depend on her for food and companionship and in this kind of weather her job is vital.

Lydia Torres is a woman on a mission.

The Meals on Wheels worker delivers 60 hot meals a day in a mere three hours. And when its bitter cold, she moves extra fast, so she stays warm and the food arrives hot.

"I was wondering if she was able to deliver the meals today it's so cold. But yet she still comes, snow, rain, or whatever," said Delia Leong, a Meals on Wheels client.

Whether they realize it or not, these seniors depend on Torres for more than just a hot meal, especially when the temperatures fall way below freezing.

With each delivery, a Meals on Wheels worker quickly analyzes each client's health, their living conditions, and their medical needs.

And if they notice something is wrong they know just what to do.

"Our drivers are trained to really circle back to our centers where we have trained case managers and social workers who can respond with the next step of service," said David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement.

"Sometimes they feel like tired, dizzy. I want to know if they are okay," Torres said.

"These people are doing an excellent job. All of them. And she never complains no matter what the weather is, whether it's raining or snowing, never complains. Brings her food. We are very satisfied," said Frances Spielberg, a Meals on Wheels client.

Torres has been delivering hot meals for 20 years.

Like many other meal handlers, she knows her clients quite well, meaning it doesn't take long to notice if something is wrong.

That's comforting news to people like Joseph Poplowski. He turned 96 on Wednesday.

"I wouldn't want to do it. (But you are thankful that she does?) I am," Poplowski said.


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