October 22, 2009
Meals on Wheels Programs span across the country in neighborhoods big and small. In this week's Jennifer's Heroes the Newsplex's Jennifer Black introduces us to a woman who saw a need in her community and sprung into action.
Marian Blackford and her husband spent more than five years volunteering for the Charlottesville chapter of Meals on Wheels. After learning her neighbors were in need, Blackford took on a new role.
"This is route two, so we put the two right there in the middle. Before we had all the names on the containers, and the procedure was going slow. This is a lot faster procedure," says Marian Blackford with Fluvanna Meals on Wheels.
A faster procedure to keep up with a fast-growing Meals on Wheels Program in Fluvanna County.
"We have five routes, and each driver is assigned a certain route and the directions are there for where to go," says Helen Newman, a volunteer.
It's been almost three years since Marian and her husband started the program in Fluvanna. Back then, there were only nine clients. Today there are 37.
"We were overwhelmed. At first, we thought uh, oh what did we get ourselves into, but as time had gone on…I love doing it," says Blackford.
Marian doesn't do it all on her own, however.
"We have three girls over there working on the food, and two girls working on the cold, and then we pack it up, and someone puts the cover on it, then we have insulated bags that we clean out and we put the food in that," says Blackford.
The handful of volunteers and drivers who work alongside Marian say she's a joy to work with.
"I tell you, Marion has always got a smile on he face. She's a delight to work with," says Ted Makranczy, a volunteer.
Working to feed the mouths of those in need, right in her own backyard.
"They want the friendship, and I show them the love and caring while I'm at their home," says Blackford.
This week's hero finds the warmth in her heart means just as much as a warm meal.
Blackford's chapter of Meals On Wheels is hosting their first annual chili dinner and craft bazaar to benefit their program. It takes place Saturday, November 7 at the Fluvanna Middle School from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. There will be plenty of craft vendors, music, moon bounces, a cake walk, and other games. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, with all proceeds going to the Fluvanna Meals On Wheels.