A Few Things You Might Like to Know About Volunteering
How long does it take to deliver Meals on Wheels?
The average Meals on Wheels route takes about an hour, but the time varies based on route, location and number of stops. When you sign up to deliver, our team will be happy to talk to you about your specific route.
How many clients will I deliver to?
The average Meals on Wheels route has eight to 15 stops. Keep in mind, however, that the number of clients on your route can change as clients are added to or removed from our service.
Where do I pick up my meals to deliver?
You can choose to pick up your meals at one of our partnering senior centers or at one of our many drop-off locations across Jefferson County. All locations are listed here. (add link)
When can I pick up my meals to deliver?
Volunteers may pick up meals from 10 a.m. to noon every weekday.
Can I bring my children with me too make deliveries?
Absolutely! Families are encouraged to deliver together.
How often do I have to deliver?
The minimum requirement to deliver meals is once a month. But you can deliver as frequently as you like: once a week, bi-weekly, etc.
Do you have a dress code for delivery?
There is no dress code, but we recommend that you wear modest clothing and comfortable shoes.
Do I have to go inside the house?
You do not have to enter the home of the client. All that is required of you is to knock on the door and hand the meal to the client.
What if no one answers the door?
When you arrive at a client’s home, please knock on the door or ring the doorbell and give the client plenty of time to answer. It is also helpful to call out, “Meals on Wheels” as you knock. If the client doesn’t answer the door, try again. Next, call the client at the number provided on the route sheet. If a client isn’t home or doesn’t answer, please call Meals on Wheels. Our number is listed at the top of your route sheet. We will begin following up with the client’s emergency contact to ensure the person’s safety.
Please do not leave the meal at the door if the client isn’t there. Instead, give it to the next client on your route.
What if there is an emergency when I deliver?
If there is an obvious emergency upon arriving at a client’s home, such as a client who has fallen, please call 911 first. Next, contact Meals on Wheels so that we can connect with the client’s emergency contact.
What if I am unable to deliver my regular route?
We certainly understand that schedules change or emergencies arise that prevent you from delivering your regular route. If this happens, please do your best to find someone to cover for you. If you are unable to do so, please notify us as early as possible so that we can find a substitute to cover your route.
What if I have suggestions for directions/instructions?
You are our eyes and ears on our 50+ delivery routes, so we welcome your feedback! Please feel free to share your comments or suggestions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you reimburse volunteers for mileage?
Meals on Wheels does not reimburse volunteers for mileage.
Does Meals on Wheels have opportunities to deliver meals on the weekends?
Meals on Wheels currently does not have opportunities to deliver meals on the weekends.
If the client is not at home, can I just leave the meal in a cooler on their porch or in a bag at their front door?
No. Please do not leave a meal at the residence if no one is at home. We want to make sure that the food clients consume is safe to eat, and cannot guarantee that if the food is not kept in a temperature-controlled environment, such as a refrigerator. If a client is not at home, please contact the MOW Case Manager so that a safety check can be completed. The meal may be given to the next person on the route.
How do I respond if there is an unrestrained, aggressive animal in or at the client’s home and I do not feel safe?
You may ask the client to restrain the animal during delivery. If the client cannot or does not do so, you may move to the next house. Please contact the MOW Case Manager as soon as possible so that the issue can be addressed.
What do I do if the client wants to pay me for their meal(s)?
Volunteers should not accept money from clients or gifts of value. If a client or a client’s family/friends would like to contribute toward the cost of the client’s meals, they may contact MOW or send checks/money orders to: United Way Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 320189, Birmingham, AL 35232. To give online, they can visit www.mowjeffco.org/give.
Please note that client contributions are voluntary and will not affect the individual’s participation in the program in any way.