Learning About Interfaith Neighbors’ Impact First Hand

May 8, 2018 5:55 pm

March for Meals Staff Ride Alongs

During the month of March, Interfaith Neighbors participated in the national March for Meals campaign to raise awareness of the need to reduce isolation and hunger for our senior neighbors. As part of our celebration of March for Meals, four of our team members who work in other  program areas took the opportunity to ride along with a Meals on Wheels driver and see firsthand the importance and impact of the Monmouth County meal delivery program.

“It was totally amazing,” said Tracy Rademacher, accounting manager, who helped deliver meals for two hours in Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury and was touched by how much the recipients loved their driver.

Stephanie Ferrier, senior development officer, helped deliver 81 meals to seniors from Asbury Park to Monmouth Beach with driver Brandon Terry.

“It was wonderful to see firsthand how important this program is to the seniors we visited and the special relationship Brandon has developed with many of them,” Ferrier said. “Brandon’s been delivering meals 8 years and counting.”

Each day, Interfaith’s drivers and a sizable corps of volunteers deliver approximately 1,000 meals to homebound seniors unable to cook or shop and to seniors eating at seven congregate meal centers.

“What I liked best when we delivered meals was to be given the opportunity to personally witness the extent of IFN’s Meals on Wheels operation across Monmouth County,” said Diane Shelton, Community Outreach Specialist. “I saw how important it is to the elderly and handicapped seniors we served.”

Shelton and driver Denis Eagan delivered their meals in Ocean Township and Asbury Park. She cited the special relationship Denis has developed in the two years he has been making deliveries.

“At first I felt I didn’t have the time to go out because I have my own work to do,” said Maura Comer, Director of the Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program.

“But we were encouraged to go, and I had the best day,” she said. “Denis (Eagan) works really hard and his clients love him and look forward to seeing him every day. The seniors at first thought he was training someone new.”

Comer and Eagan delivered meals in Asbury Park.

“I said if I ever stop working here, I want to volunteer with Meals on Wheels,” she said.

State Assemblyman Ned Thomson joined in the March for Meals campaign by visiting Interfaith’s Bradley Beach food preparation and delivery operations.

Sandi Silber, Director of Nutrition, commended the staff members going out on delivery routes.

“An old mentor of mine told me that management by walking around is best,” she said. “Having staff deliver Meals on Wheels helps us understand we’re serving people and not numbers.”

To learn more about  how you can volunteer for Meals on Wheels Monmouth County, visit www.interfaithneighbors.org/volunteer or call 732.775.0525 ext. 227.

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