Karen Leader • Derry Member

Third Friday Meals on Wheels drivers prepare to deliver their routes. L-R, Jack Henderson, Chet Rose and Shel Parker place meals in bags,  Jack and Shel review their routes, and Jack and Sharon Henderson are ready to roll.

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In July we’re lifting up elder care. You can always check the Joys & Concerns section of the weekly eNews for a quick reminder of the month’s mission focus.

About 25 years ago (maybe more!) I heard about the Meals on Wheels program from a friend, and went to shadow her to see what the volunteer commitment entailed. I discovered this was a way I could help others in need of food — even with my preschooler in the car!

Meals on Wheels is a program provided and funded by the Dauphin County Department of Aging. The meals are prepared, under contract, by the Nutrition Kitchen of York. They deliver meals Monday through Friday mornings to the Church of the Redeemer United Church of Christ on Chocolate Avenue, which is the focal point for the Derry Township program.

Chester Rose has been coordinating the Derry Township program for seven years. Five local churches are responsible for providing delivery drivers on the four routes. Spring Creek Church of the Brethren delivers on Monday, Redeemer Church on Tuesday, Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church on Wednesday, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Thursday, and Derry Church on Friday. The number of meals delivered daily varies from 45-55. 

Our Derry Church coordinator is Mary Day. Each of Derry’s four teams covers one Friday of the month, and all the teams are assigned one of the fifth Fridays during the year. Our church members who volunteer have a strong commitment to this outreach service. There is even a list of volunteers who will substitute in the event a team member is unavailable. 

The recipients in their homes are always grateful for the food and your smile and conversation. And for me, delivering has been a rewarding experience. If you’d like to volunteer on Derry’s Meals on Wheels team, contact me, Lynn Porter or Mary Day.

Editor’s Postscript: Meals on Wheels in Derry Township has been around for decades, but we don’t know the exact history. If you can fill in the blanks, please contact Sue George.