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Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley celebrates 50 years

SALINAS, Calif. (KION)- A local non-profit has been helping to keep seniors fed for half a century.

Laurie Bend Outreach Coordinator for Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley mentions the drop offs are beneficial for the seniors.

"They see our volunteers many of them waiting at the door or at their window so that they can just
have that interaction," said Bend.

Regina Gage Executive Director with Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley mentions it's very important to give back to the community.

"So if we can just brighten their day once a week that makes us feel that were doing something really important
in the community," said Gage.

Basic human interaction, after two years of a pandemic it's caused many challenges for all of us. That’s where Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley comes in handy. Not only providing healthy fruits and veggies to our seniors but also a friendship. Victor Lurz a volunteer with the non-profit said its nice to make a trip to the houses.

"It just feels good when people appreciate it and you get to go into their house and kind of get to know them a little bit better, "Lurz said.

Take Salinas native John Aspiras for example, an avid food lover who just needs an extra helping hand every now and again.

"I know how to cook, no problem but I can't get out to get the ingredients and so theses meals were a godsend and they really really help me," said Aspiras.

Despite on and off again mask mandates and social distancing requirements volunteers still reach over two hundred seniors a week. Doing innovative things playing music and providing gifts.

“I just want to say thank you to all of the working people from meals on wheels, thank you very much," said Aruiza.

And making rounds all the way from North and South county to reach some folks in isolation.

"I know there are people out there in need, there are people that can't get out. There are people that need to eat and they just don't have the resources for it or they just can't get out to do it," said Lurz.

But of course keeping a little distance is always a good thing.

"Because they see the change that their making that the organization is
making for our homebound seniors," said Bend.

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Taryn Mitchell

Taryn Mitchell is a weekend anchor and multimedia journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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