A: The only qualification is a willingness to serve Erie’s seniors, a valid driver’s license, and auto insurance.
A: No. 100% of Meals On Wheels Erie clients are served by caring volunteers.
A: We have a wonderful team of over 70 active volunteers who deliver meals and shop and deliver groceries. But we are always looking for additional team members to cover the natural ebb and flow of volunteers.
A: Hot meals are delivered anytime between 9:30 AM and Noon. Generally, volunteers pick up meals around 9:30 AM at their pick up sites. Grocery shopping is done between 8 AM and dark Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and sometimes Saturdays if the volunteer agrees. We take grocery orders on Mondays and Tuesdays and match up clients and volunteers after that depending on volunteer schedules.
A: Our meal staging area is at LECOM Senior Living Center.
A: We shop only at the six Giant Eagle stores in Erie County. Depending on where the client lives and where you live, we try to match up the shortest routes. If you live in Edinboro, for instance, you’ll only get Edinboro clients to shop for and deliver to.
A: We are happy to work with you and your schedule. Only want Thursdays? No problem. Just the second Tuesday of every month? We can work with you. Also, if you need to call off at any time, give us reasonable notice and we will find a sub for your route. One day we may call you and ask if you could sub for another volunteer.
A: We ask that you bring along a cooler to put your meals in.
A: You are given the names and addresses of each client on your route. They are in no specific driving order. But we do have route optimization software so you can get a custom map for your route with turn-by-turn directions. Volunteers who have recently moved to Erie can use our custom driving maps not knowing any streets at all. If you want to return home after you deliver we will enter your home address for your last stop.
A: Every route is different and clients change over time. It usually takes about 1 1/2 hours on longer routes. Some clients are in apartment buildings where you make one stop but deliver two or more meals. We are constantly working to create routes that maximize speed from the kitchen to the client and reduce the amount of delivery time on each route. Grocery shopping depends on the size of the grocery list but delivering to one home makes it pretty fast.
A: LECOM Senior Living Center on Peach St.
A: Of course! We will match you up with a driver and you can be the server. The driver gets you to the address and you deliver the meal to the door. Everyone can help in our team environment! This is especially great for children or grandchildren.
A: We can provide forms to track your mileage. You can use them to deduct 14 cents per mile which is the Volunteer Rate established by the IRS. You can deduct only if you itemize deductions on your 1040. We do not pay mileage.
A: Anyone who is compassionate about Erie seniors should consider volunteering. Volunteers are those people who are available between 9:30 AM and Noon weekdays. Other than that, here are some descriptions of those who deliver for us right now:
- Solo drivers who both drive and deliver meals to the door.
- Husband and wife teams are popular.
- Companies who can field a team of up to eight employees can “adopt” a route and deliver each week of the month with a two-person team (each employee would volunteer one time per month).
- Two friends can get out and help out.
- We have several Resident Life Assistants from Erie agencies who take their clients out to deliver meals. We call these Caregiver Teams.
- You are most welcome to bring along your kids or grandkids to help you deliver meals. What a great way to instill the value of volunteering in young people!
A: We contract our kitchens so we have no control over their help. At this time, however, they do not use volunteer help.
A: Since our volunteers are unsupervised we cannot provide court mandated service hours.We believe volunteering should be uncomplicated and rewarding! Call us at (814) 452-6930 between 8AM and 4PM and ask for MaryBeth, Assistant Director, or use this handy contact form and she’ll call you back with all the details.