They’re enroute and navigating stops in a sporty new Mazda 6, and people in Brooklyn Center are watching for them.
Staff members from Brookdale Mazda Mitsubishi bring an energy and zip to the “Meals on Wheels” operation on Thursdays. Home base is the Community Emergency Assistance Program, or CEAP, just down the street.
“Did you know this is one of the biggest reasons why people are allowed to stay in their house?” asks Eric Palmer, who is in sales at the dealership.
People delivering the food check on each person’s welfare, sometimes moving the garbage cans or doing other small tasks, explains CEAP coordinator Linda Kirkendall, who watches over 13 individual routes and about 100 delivered meals per day.
On this particular Thursday, some recipients are set to receive an extra meal for the weekend. The steam heated food must be delivered within an hour and the same goes for cold offerings.
For some, the dealership staffers may be the only ones they see that day. Dog treats keep a variety of pooches satisfied.
If a meal recipient seems a little down, sick, or doesn’t answer the door, route volunteers let Kirkendall know, and she follows up to make sure things are OK. Of the 100 meals each day, typically only one will be undeliverable.
The Brooklyn Center operation is one of 34 Meals on Wheels programs in the Twin Cities area. The food is paid for through donations to CEAP, and through federal taxpayer funds. The system relies on volunteers, who number 289 for Brooklyn Center alone.