Fluvanna Faces: Amy Smedley, Meals on Wheels

By Harvey J. Sorum,

Amy, tell us something about your background prior to joining Meals on Wheels.

Before moving to Lake Monticello, I lived in Northern Virginia. I managed a real estate team and helped build a networking organization of businesses that help seniors. I spent 24 years as an Army wife moving around the country supporting military families while staying busy raising two children of my own.  

Why did you join Meals on Wheels in Fluvanna?

I was looking for a part time opportunity and liked the idea of helping seniors through Meals on Wheels.

How long have you been with them?

I started as the Volunteer Coordinator in August of 2018. 

What are some of the things you enjoy about Meals on Wheels and why?

I love what I do! I really enjoy getting to know the volunteers. They are a lot of fun. They keep me busy with scheduling changes but are also very willing to help out when needed. They amaze me with their commitment to Meals on Wheels.

Do you have volunteers on your staff?  

Cindy Wilson, office administrator, and I are part time employees. Our Executive Director, Lisa Himes, is a volunteer. We have more than 200 volunteers that help pack meals, deliver meals and assist in the office or with extra projects.  

Why do you think people want to help at Meals on Wheels? 

Volunteers choose to help Meals on Wheels because they believe in our mission of feeding and caring for our homebound neighbors. Many of our volunteers are retired and like to stay busy and connected to others in the community. They enjoy socializing with other volunteers as well as visiting with clients. We have volunteers that have been with us since the beginning in 2008 as well as some that help only for a year or two. 

Do recipients pay for the meals you deliver?

We review each client’s situation and they pay based on what they can afford. Some pay full price or a reduced price for meals while we cover the cost for other client’s meals when their income isn’t enough, or their medical expenses are too great. 

Where do you get your food?

We purchase our food from Wahoo BBQ, who makes a variety of delicious hot meals for our clients Monday-Friday. They follow the Virginia Department for the Aging (VDA) guidelines for safe and nutritious meals that meet the requirements of the Older Americans Act.

If the recipients have pets, do you feed them also?

We partner with FSPCA and Caring for Creatures to provide pet food to our clients. With their donation of pet food, we are able to deliver pet food to our clients once a month. This allows our clients to keep pets that provide companionship to them.  

Other than providing food, if there are minor repairs needed for their home, do you assist them with this?

Our mission is to feed homebound Senior in Fluvanna County. If there are other needs such as home repairs, we partner with agencies in the county which can provide additional services to the clients.

How do you pay for the food you provide?

Fluvanna Meals on Wheels does not receive any federal, state or local funding and is totally supported by the community in donations, along with fundraising events. We receive a variety of grants from local organizations as well. 

Are you looking for additional volunteers?

We currently have a full schedule of regular volunteers. We always accept applications for substitutes to help in the kitchen and to deliver meals. We especially need drivers in the Fork Union area. 

Anything you would like to add?

I have found Fluvanna County to be very supportive of our local non-profits with both time and money. Please continue to support Fluvanna Meals on Wheels or other non-profits to help the people in our community. Working together makes this a great place to live.  

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