Who delivers Meals on Wheels?

What’s it like?
Do you stop to chat?
Do you sing to old ladies like the guy in the commercial?

I’m delivering a route tomorrow as a substitute. I’ve never done it before. Any tips? Song suggestions?


When I was in about 5th grade I did it with my mom driving.

We didn’t stop to chat much as we had hot meals in the car that needed to be deliverd but a nice ‘hello, how you doing?’ is about we ever got into with any of the people on our route.

So you just handed it to the person at the door, or did you bring it in and set it on a table?

Probably the former.

Were you supposed to be keeping an eye out for signs that the person might not be doing well, or anything?

Bloody saints, that’s who.

There’s going to be blood?


Only if the saint is also a martyr. Otherwise, no.


What, no martyring today? The nerve!

Guess I’ll have to trot back over to the Pit for some real martyring.

What if the saint is married to a martyr? Will the kids be satyrs?

I’ve only done it once, when a bunch of us went to sub to give the regular drivers a weekend off. We had a lovely route. Most of the people were nice, and appreciative. A few were crabby. We delivered most meals to a retirement community, but a few to private residences.

At the retirement community, generally we’d pull our cart to the door and then get ourselves organized. Hot foods, check. Cold foods, check. Diabetic meal or not? Check. Then we’d knock and announce ourselves. When they came to the door (sometimes took awhile, depends on their mobility), we’d say a sunny hello and ask if they wanted us to bring the food in. If yes, we asked whether they wanted in on the counter or in the fridge. Sometimes we saw a lot of previous meals left around, as if they weren’t eating much of what was brought. Sometimes we chatted about the cat, or the lovely view, etc. Then on to the next place. Some people refused some items (didn’t want milk, or the soup) but that was taken care of when one woman asked for any extras for her neighbors which weren’t on the route.

My partner and I came back to turn in the coolers feeling really good. But on the way in, I saw two other volunteers looking a little uncomfortable. I asked how it went and they had a very different experience. They delivered to private homes and apartments in run-down neighborhoods. They said in one house there were a bunch of men living together in a house full of refuse. One of the volunteers noted that a stove burner was on (!!) and asked if she might turn it off. The guys said no, they left it on all day so they could light their cigarettes.

I guess the experience depends on the route.

Oh. Forgot to address this. They had a procedure for stuff like this–I can’t remember all the details, but I think it was commonsense stuff like calling the M.O.W. office. If no one answered the door, we were to leave a big placard on the doorknob announcing we’d been there, sorry to miss you, blah blah blah (couldn’t leave food on the doorstep, obviously) and were to report that to the M.O.W. office. They did the follow up, I guess.

Thanks, Cranky! That’s just the kind of stuff I was looking for.

All I know is that I have “Route 15”, and approximately where it’s located (which is not the best neigborhood, but hopefully I won’t encounter anything too depressing). From the location, I’d say it’ll be private homes, but who knows . . .?

At any rate, you’ve given me a handle on procedure, which I’m guessing I won’t get from the MOW people, since this is sort of an emergency situation (as opposed to a planned substitution).

So thanks!

I’m still thinking maybe I should sing . . .

No, I think you’ll get all the info you need. I think most MOW programs have multiple sets of drivers and planned substitution programs. In our case, every route had a set of papers & descriptions that went with it–who lived at what address, etc. Every time. It might be that regulars don’t have to refer to it as often as subs do, but it’s all there.

And if that’s true, does that mean if the kids then eat fetta, they’ll be guilty of a type of incest?