Mayerson JCC’s Meals on Wheels program delivers prepared kosher meals for seniors who have difficulty shopping or cooking for themselves. The program has helped seniors in the community for over 30 years, delivering as many as 52,505 meals per year – making it essential to the community.
As a relatively new employee at the J, I recently learned all of this information. I work in the marketing department so my day-to-day work isn’t usually with the food service department, but it has been this past week.
For context as I’m writing this, we are coming to the end of the first week the J has been closed. And, while this has been an interesting time to start a new job and get to know a new organization, I will say that in my short time at the J the I’ve found a strong sense of community everywhere I look.
While that sense of community can be seen on any given day, it was at the forefront of our work this week. Staff from organizations throughout the J’s campus helped prepare thousands of frozen and shelf-stable meals for the coming weeks. Director of Senior Adult Services Susan Bradley-Meyer perfectly orchestrated the moving parts, working alongside the kitchen staff to coordinate our effort. As the days went on, meals stacked up, eventually completely filling the freezers, a monolith of food standing as a testament to the dedicated kitchen staff and their new helpers. Seeing the final product came with a feeling of accomplishment, but the successful delivery of the meals, for me, would bring a realization.
The first few homes we delivered to were in the neighborhood my father grew up in, where my sister went to school, and where plenty of my family still lives. It gave the whole experience a feeling of familiarity and shed light on a vulnerable population that was much closer to home than I imagined. The Meals on Wheels program became something much more tangible. Although the vulnerable people the program helps aren’t always visible, their struggles are still present. Luckily there is a caring community of staff and volunteers to show kindness and extend a helping hand. I’m fortunate to have the chance to be a part of that this past week.
If you’re reading this then you’re fortunate enough to be a part of the same community I’ve talked about. We are all working together to help and support one another during these interesting times. While helping hands are always welcome, you don’t have to volunteer to make a difference. A donation helps cover additional costs so we can continue to take care of our community and help it take care of us. Click here to learn more about donating to the J.
Mayerson JCC’s Meals on Wheels program is funded by The Jewish Federation and the Council on Aging. The program is administered by the 60 & Better department of the Mayerson JCC.
– Cam Engel, Copywriter