Mobile Meals checks safety of 600 residents during cold snap - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Mobile Meals checks safety of 600 residents during cold snap

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Mobile Meals volunteers were braving the cold temperatures for a good cause Tuesday. They deliver food and check on the welfare of 600 clients, many of whom are senior citizens or disabled residents. It's a service they say is critical when the temperature drops.

Mobile Meals employee Mike Nortz says he serves about 50 people per day, simultaneously delivering a meal and checking their safety.

Nortz says he and other employees may be the only person the elderly see that day, so it is not only important to bring them their food, but also provide conversation, help with quick, small chores, as well as check for issues.

Mobile Meals employees and volunteers are out making sure homebound individuals have working heat and food whether they live in an apartment complex or a home.

Clients say they depend on someone checking on them and look forward to the interaction.

"These guys are going to be here everyday and I pretty much know when they're coming. When it gets 11 o'clock I start watching the clock. I know they're on their way," said S. Cedric Barnette.

Barnette says he is "83 years young," but lives alone. He is comforted knowing someone always knows how he is doing. Barnette also appreciates the friendship he has made with volunteers.

"I don't have any family, but this is my family, and I know each one of them personally," said Barnette.

It's that strong relationship that Mobile Meals volunteers say they develop with many of their elderly clients.

Mobile Meals is in desperate need of more volunteers. Call 419-255-7806 or visit http://www.mobilemeals.org/ for more information.

The Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc. cautions adults that extreme temperatures and chill factors forecast for this week can present serious risk for the elderly and people with disabilities, such as frostbite and hypothermia.

Tips for Seniors to Stay Safe:

  • When wind chills are below zero, stay inside. Reschedule your activity.
  • If you must go out, dress in layers. Wear a hat – 40 percent of your body heat is lost from the head. Wear larger-sized mittens over gloves to protect your fingers. Wear a scarf to protect your chin, lips and cheeks. They are all extremely susceptible to frostbite.
  • Keep your feet warm and dry. Wear two pairs of socks, wool if possible.
  • Dry off if you get wet.
  • Drink warm beverages, not alcohol; alcohol narrows blood vessels, which promotes frostbite and then hypothermia

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