CURWENSVILLE, CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Inside the Mature Resources Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging’s Curwensville office, you’ll find workers preparing hundreds of fresh meals for the agency’s Meals on Wheels and More program. The meals are then loaded into vans every Monday through Friday.
“Everyone gets a cold pack and everyone gets a hot pack,” Joe Lenhart, a Meals on Wheels and More driver, told us.
Lenhart let WTAJ’s Maggie Smolka follow along as he made his deliveries to Clearfield County seniors.
“Bringing a meal and a smiling face,” Lenhart explained. “Sometimes that’s what they need.”
Lenhart became a driver with the program in October, but he has already created relationships along his route. During one stop he even gave a consumer a Christmas present.
“Oh that is gorgeous,” she said as she opened up the blanket he got her. “Oh isn’t that gorgeous?”
“It’s a job, but at the same time it’s a lot rewarding,” Lenhart explained. “Because you are making a difference I think.”
You see Lenhart, just like a lot of the drivers, are the eyes and ears of this program.
“There is so much you can walk in on,” Lenhart said. “And you can prevent a lot of bad things from happening.”
Lenhart brings more than a meal. He also brings smiles, a listening ear and a conversation.
“When you show up and they have something to say, you sit and you kind of listen to them,” Lenhart said.
And when something goes wrong, the program drivers sometimes can be the first ones to help. Like the time Lenhart, and another driver, saw a fire at one of the stops and were able to put it out and call the fire department.
“Thank goodness they had Meals on Wheels because nobody would have been there,” Lenhart said. “It would have been a bad deal.”
Thankfully no one was home at the time and Lenhart, a volunteer firefighter, knew what to do. He said if they didn’t find the fire as early as they did, the building would have been fully engulfed.
“It was just something that could have been way worse,” he expressed.
Delivering a meal is one thing. Delivering genuine happiness, a helping hand and kindness takes it that much further.
“I mean there are people I take garbage out for,” Lenhart explained. “There are people I get the mail for because they can’t get out to the road. So there are a lot of things that we do that is not necessarily in the job description, but we do it anyhow.”
Meals on Wheels operates in communities all across the nation with a goal of addressing senior isolation and hunger.
Reach out to Maggie Smolka if you know someone or an organization that’s making it matter in the community. You can email email@example.com or message her on Facebook.