"Meals on Wheels" volunteers get help from city leaders

Mayors from three cities delivered food to homebound seniors

POSTED: 11:47 AM PDT Mar 20, 2013    UPDATED: 12:49 PM PDT Mar 20, 2013 
Meals on Wheels
PALM DESERT, Calif. -- -


Volunteers at the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert deliver around 75 meals a day as part of its "Meals on Wheels" program.

Those meals go to homebound seniors like Frank Stevens.

"I get them four times a week," Stevens said.

He needs oxygen at all times, and says it would be very difficult for him to get meals on his own.

"Yes, I have oxygen, I have to wear it all the time," Stevens explains. "I can't always go out when I want to go out. Some times are worse than others."

Stevens can count on volunteers to faithfully make deliveries. Each day, individual volunteers hand off around a dozen meals.

Wednesday, they got a little extra help.

"I'm the mayor of Palm Desert, and this is my old route!" Jan Harnik excitedly shared.

Harnik, Scott Hines from Rancho Mirage, and Mary Roche from Indian Wells are seeing the need in their cities first hand.

"There's often a misperception that affluent communities have everything all buttoned up," says Hines. "That's not always the case. Our seniors have a need for social interaction."

"It's one of the greatest experiences, going out meeting these people, sometimes going into their homes to unpack food, just being a bright spot in their day sometimes," says Harnik, delivering food to the same homes she visited with her daughters when they were young girls.

Volunteer Don Baker says, if it wasn't for the meals on wheels program, some people would end up starving.

"I think it's the only meal they'll get today," Baker explains.

For most -- it's the only social interaction they'll get.

If you're interested in volunteering, contact the Joslyn Center at (760) 340-3220, or visit www.JoslynCenter.org.

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