Curbside Story: Never Met a Stranger

If ever there were a way to describe new Meals on Wheels of Hancock County client Matt, it would be “he has never met a stranger.”

That’s certainly the case for the volunteer drivers delivering and doing weekday well-checks for Matt each weekday.

“The people involved are just the best people,” he says. “They have a great sense of humor, and it’s just wonderful that they know me by my first name. The delivery folks are not strangers to me.”

In fact, Matt has formed many friendships with volunteers since starting deliveries in February after the urging of his neighbors. He enjoys when couples deliver so he has additional conversation with both.

“We always have a chit-chat about life, and especially my dogs (Yorkies),” Matt says. “The folks take time to meet and greet us. We chat, and they’re very conscientious about following up.”  

Matt enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program after a car accident in January that left him homebound for several weeks. He blacked out while driving, totaling his truck that was nearly paid off and breaking his wrist.

He also had an accidental fall off the porch and neighbors helped put in a ramp to lessen his fall risk. Meals on Wheels was a much-needed resource as Matt healed from his injuries and remained safe at home.

“I was scared, and I took myself off the road in May. I like the deliveries because they’re balanced meals. And first of all let me say I’m not a cook. And I’m not going to be a cook,” he says. ”I like the main courses, just not the Brussels sprouts.”

The 80-year-old veteran, who served on nuclear-powered submarines in the Navy, also isn’t a fan of onions, a vegetable he had to pick as part of his childhood chores growing up in Long Island.

He prefers his green beans prepared without onions, something he says people hardly do on the East Coast, and his meals without the Brussels sprouts. And those are his only grievances.

Matt is mostly thankful for what the program has brought to his life and overall health and well-being.

“In February, I found out I have diabetes and high cholesterol, so I’m on an 1,800-calorie diet. I’m sure if I would have done Meals on Wheels starting back in 2019, I wouldn’t have those issues,” he says.

He credits Meals on Wheels of Hancock County for setting him on a healthy course while aging. “When you hear the name Meals on Wheels, you think you might know what it’s about, but do you really know what they can do for you?” he says. “I know what they did for me, and my life would be a whole lot better if I would have signed up earlier. The meals are very delicious and economical.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

April Allford

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