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Meals on Wheels still delivering to homes

T-R photo by Mike Donahey On Tuesday, Jerry Rush of Marshalltown, center, displays his requested sack lunch from Marshalltown’s Meals on Wheels as volunteer deliverer Terry Gray looks on. Meals on Wheels clients have an option of ordering a hot meal or sack lunch from the program.

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled or delayed million dollar sporting events but has not stopped the Marshalltown Meals on Wheels program.

For more than 50 years Marshalltown volunteers have taken hot meals to individuals who wish to maintain independent living at home and who reside in city limits. 

The program has persevered 365 days per year, despite ice storms, tornadoes and now a global pandemic which has killed thousands worldwide and disabled more.

Kathy McCune of  Marshalltown is president of the nonprofit organization which is completely dependent on customer’s payments and donations. 

The cost is $4 per meal, and residents may sign up for the program once they secure a doctor’s referral.

The next step is contacting Iowa Home Care of Marshalltown, 641-752-5545, which manages sign-ups. 

“The meals are planned by a registered dietitian and prepared by Food and Nutritional Service staff both at UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown,” McCune said. “Three volunteers a day deliver the meals to customers.”

On Monday, Terry Gray, Wayne Galema and Larry Pfantz, all of Marshalltown, delivered to 25 customers throughout town. 

They each picked up the meals in insulated containers outside the UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown main entrance and When finished, they returned the containers to the hospital. 

Pfantz is vice-president and schedules the routes for the 90 volunteers who help one day per month on average.

Gray and Galema said Monday the customers are grateful for the service.

Client Jerry Rush gave a vigorous “thumbs up” to Gray when she delivered his sack lunch Tuesday.  

“Many of our customers are elderly, and knowing Meals On Wheels is continuing daily despite numerous state orders restricting activity has lessened their anxiety,” Pfantz said. 

For more information, contact Pfantz at 641-753-7275.

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Contact Mike Donahey at mdonahey@timesrepublican.com