March for Meals month brings awareness to program helping seniors

As you get older, it can get difficult to leave the house, even if it's just to get food.

Dave Butler has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for a few months now.

Butler says, "I really just wanted to do something to give back for a little bit. I've been blessed so wanted to help out."
So he donates a bit of his time every week to dish out happiness to the elderly, the ones who may not be able to leave their home.
Butler says, "You go in and talk to them a little bit and get to know them, it's a nice deal."

In just one day, volunteers can deliver more meals as there are days in a year.
But Butler says it's more than just the food that serves up a smile for these people; it's the day to day interaction.
Butler says, "It's surprised me. It's tremendous. The people don't -- a lot of these people don't see people so it's their only time to say hi or what's the weather like or what happened in sports this weekend."
That's what it does for Mary Mead, a former Meals driver, who now is on the other end of the program.

Mary Mead says, "I've been ill and it's just fun. You look forward to somebody coming and bringing some good food."
Meals on Wheels also provides a health and wellness check for folks.

Cheree Pederson says, "If there's something going on life-threatening, then we can get the right resources in to help them."
But that goes both ways.
Pederson says, "They become very attached to our drivers. Sometimes when we have a substitute driver, they want to make sure the driver is doing well."

March is 'March for Meals' month, a time dedicated to honoring our senior citizens and bring awareness to the Meals program locally.
Right now, there are around 100 volunteers devoted to making a difference in a senior's life.
To help with the national March for Meals campaign, you can donate to our Meals on Wheels here in Rapid City by going to mealsprogram.com.