Grab a pitchfork, light the torches and defeat the monster!

Jorene with Lupe and Jeffrey, who deliver her meals and help her out when she needs it.

I don’t know who authored this quote,  but I can tell you it sure resonates with me.  This month I will celebrate my 26th year with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.  I was a volunteer for the first 13 and then came on staff just to help out temporarily.  But one thing leads to another and pretty soon you see that you can help defeat the monster if you stick with it, just one meal at a time.  So much happens everyday in our kitchen.  The pitchfork is raised everyday about 3000 times to make sure every meal gets cooked and packaged and loaded on the vans and then delivered.

Some days it seems like it is harder than others to light the torches that make this all happen with the compassion and care our seniors deserve and depend on.  But it does not ever NOT HAPPEN!  Those torches get lit.  Volunteers and staff work together as a team to make sure that each meal is just right.  It takes every one of us to prepare just one meal, all working in accord to ensure temperatures are right, produce is perfect, food safety hair nets are worn by everyone, seals are secure, labels are affixed and route sheets are checked, vans are full of gas and loaded for delivery.  It is a bit like a ballet as we all work together.  Okay, admittedly sometimes it isn’t as graceful as a ballet – maybe more like the jitterbug or polka but it still happens.  And then the delivery… meals to just one senior at a time.

That is when we defeat the monster.  The moment we walk into a senior’s home it happens.  Mission delivered.  Monster DEAD!  And it is an amazing moment.  It is really a moment of grace to hear a senior offer  “thank you.” Or “I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for you” or just “I was hungry.”  “I was lonely.”