ALTON -- The Alton Senior Citizen Center is in desperate need of meal route delivery drivers.
"We are always low on drivers. Currently we have four routes that do not have volunteer drivers," said Pam Simpson, Alton Senior Citizen Center Administrator. "When Beth Taylor (assistant administrator) and I are out delivering routes, we are not here to help seniors with questions or other services they may need," Simpson said. The Alton Center delivers an average of 360 hot and frozen meals a day or 6,000 to 7,000 a month,
"These meals are a vital part of our senior's health and wellness. Often times, the route delivery person is the only person some of these homebound seniors see in a day or even a week," Simpson said.
Statistics show that a balanced meal and exercise can keep many senior citizens well. "Many of our seniors are no longer capable of cooking for themselves and families aren't always available to help," she said.
The meal routes leave the center around 10:30 a.m. and normally take between 45 and 60 minutes to complete. Two routes are in the AA Highway area and two are in Alton. Simpson said both of these routes need drivers on Wednesday and Friday.
"If a volunteer uses their own vehicle they are reimbursed 47 1/2 cents a mile. There are two center vehicles that can be used on the routes, but the drivers will not be reimbursed if they drive them," she said.
There are several people in the Alton area that might be interested and just not realize help is needed on the Alton Senior Citizen meal routes, Simpson said.
"People that home school their children, church members or pastors, retired people or anyone that has some free time and the desire to help others make great volunteers. A church may want to organize a group of volunteers to help the senior center with deliveries," she said.
Anyone interested in helping on a meal route can call Simpson or Taylor at the Alton Senior Citizen Center, Monday through Friday, at 417-778-7342.