Slowly but surely, the ‘Meals on Wheels’ organization is gearing up for a monumental shift in scenery.
“So we know that we’re only serving a portion of the population and we really can’t put out any more meals in this building,” Executive Director of Chemung County Meals On Wheels, Darlene Ike said. “So, we had to find a place, and this was a process that started about six years ago.”
As of now, Meals on Wheels serves between 250-300 people on a daily basis and sees about 1,500 different people each year. But, with their current location limiting their abilities, Ike is eager for the move to be completed.
“I just got the progress report this morning,” Ike said. “We are about 68% done. So, we are hoping to move in by the end of November.”
Believe it or not, their entire current facility can fit in just the kitchen space at the new location. Therefore, Ike and her volunteers can expect a massive change in available equipment.
“With the newer building, we are going to have an 8’x26′ freezer and an 8’x26′ walk-in, plus an 8’x10′ freezer and an 8’x10′ walk-in,” Ike said. “So, we can accept maybe deliveries only once every two weeks, that cuts our costs down and we’re running more efficiently also.”
Even regular volunteers are excited about the move and opportunity to recruit more help on a consistent basis.
“We need more room,” 11-year volunteer, Bobby King said. “And, we need more volunteers. We can always use more volunteers.”
With construction still working to prepare the new site, Ike and her staff will continue to serve the community until its time for their major upgrade. Meals on Wheels is planning to show off their new location to the public through an open house. We at 18 News will keep you updated on that event as we near their anticipated move.