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Seniors Serving Seniors

By Staff | Nov 22, 2011

From the Meck Senior Center, LaMarr and Rae Pentz, volunteers with the “Meals on Wheels” program, load their car with food for delivery to homebound seniors.

MUNCY – Every weekday, teams of drivers and runners leave the site of the Meck Senior Center in Muncy Township to deliver lunches and meals to shut-in seniors. Those making deliveries are fellow senior citizens.

One couple, LaMarr Pentz, formerly of Montgomery and wife Rae Jean, formerly of Montoursville, volunteer on a route currently numbering seven. “The number fluctuates,” Rae said, “Most live alone and to many, we’re the only ones they see that day.”

LaMarr, who’ll be 87 next month, has been a volunteer with the “Meals on Wheels” program nearly 20 years. Rae Jean joined him assisting in deliveries after the twosome married two and one half years ago. Rae Jean had been coming to the center 16 years. “They’re all glad to see us,” LaMarr said, “Some would like us to stay and visit if we could.”

The Pentz’s, who reside at Heatherbrooke Estates, make runs twice weekly, but another volunteer wanted a route, so now they’re down to delivering meals once a week. “It gives us a change to get out and do something nice,” Rae said.

Debbie Bidlespacher, the center’s director, indicated that six pairs of volunteers deliver to 49 seniors daily, the number does not include in-house meals. Several individuals pack hot and cold food items such as fruit, beverages, sandwiches and snacks in bags which go into containers, and then loaded into the vehicles. A tag in the rear windows of the vehicles identifies them as volunteers with the “Meals on Wheels” program.

In addition to lunch, seniors who come to the center may play cards, assemble puzzles, or go to the gym and exercise. Health monitoring such as a test for grip strength was held the day we visited.