Fluvanna meals on wheels seeks donations for emergency bags

By Madeline Otten


Fluvanna County experienced chilling temperatures last week as it dropped into the low 20s. Community members had to scrape frost off car windshields and dig out winter coats.  As December approaches, frost, freezing rain, and snow pose a threat to the county, which can impact those who are unable to drive or cook.

In the face of that, Fluvanna Meals on Wheels is now collecting donations for its emergency bag program (E-Bag). The E-Bag program contains nonperishable, entirely prepared food in case of inclement weather. The program is accepting proteins, vegetables, and fruits; donations are single serving sized with easy open containers and low sodium and low sugars.

For proteins, low sodium soups or stews, tuna, chicken, and salmon in cans or punches, beans, peanut butter (low salt or unsalted variety), and cans of unsalted nuts are greatly appreciated.  Fruit in fruit juice cups or cans such as mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, and mixed, dried fruits like bananas, cherries, apricots, and raisins, and applesauce are accepted. As for vegetables, green beans, peas, carrots and corn in cans that are low sodium or no added salt. And finally, the program also accepts a box of Saltine or Ritz crackers, a box of Graham crackers, granola bars, and cereal bars and packs of six or 12 of 100 percent fruit juice in single-serving sizes.

The bags are for use in emergencies only when Meals on Wheels cannot deliver on their usual schedule. The drivers are all volunteers and most of them are retired, and since the program follows the Fluvanna County School System meaning if the schools close due to the weather and conditions, Meals on Wheels considers the conditions too dangerous for its volunteers to drive and deliver meals. This is where the E-Bags are crucial.

Since the bags are delivered ahead of time, each bag contains five full meals, just in case deliveries cannot be made for an extended period of time. The first round of deliveries was made on the week starting Nov. 18. Fluvanna Meals on Wheels has teamed up with the sherriff’s office, which has made the first round of deliveries the past two years and will continue the tradition this year.

“This time of year, the number of clients increase,” said Office Manager Cindy Wilson. “Our clients are homebound with limited or no ability to drive as well as those who cannot cook. There is no age limit and we try to make sure to get food to those who cannot go out and get it themselves.”

And just because the first round has gone out to clients, does not mean they have enough to supply for the rest of the winter season. In a recent interview with NBC 29 News, chair of Fluvanna Meals on Wheels Lisa Hines stated they had 65 bags donated so far out of the 75 clients they serve.

“We are still collecting for the rest of winter,” said Wilson. “When it snows, sometimes it sticks for a couple of days and while Lake Monticello might be clear, some of our clients who live out in the county are hard to reach. The E-bags are a great source of food in case we cannot get to them.”

Donations can be dropped off at their Crofton Plaza headquarters on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For further questions and additional information about donations for the E-Bags, please call 434-589-1685.

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