Meals on Wheels delivers more than 350 meals every week. But more volunteers are needed to make those deliveries.
Meals on Wheels is up 150 clients from this time last year. The total now -- 345 seniors. Because of a shortage of volunteer drivers, some clients are being placed on a waiting list.
Duane Rhoadarmer has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver for seven years. He delivers meals in Sioux Falls once a week. But lately, it's not unusual for him to be on the road up to three times a week because of a shortage in volunteer drivers.
And while the number of drivers is increasing, the number of clients who need Meals on Wheels is increasing.
"You can't enlarge the route much more than they are because the cold and hot bags only hold so much and they need to be delivered within an hour to an hour and a half time so if you make too many, it takes too long to deliver," said Rhoadarmer.
Rhoadarmer says Meals on Wheels serves a diverse client base. Some are financially better off than others and some are physically able to make hot meals on their own.
"It's wonderful. I'm legally blind and I can't use a stove very well without getting burned," said Diane Spear, Meals on Wheels client.
"Like this lady here just can't see well enough and her husband isn't able to do the cooking either, so the meal helps with that," said Rhoadarmer.
Rhoadarmer says the hour or so it takes to deliver the 12 meals on his route is well worth his time.
"You get some enjoyment out of yourself to see the satisfaction that comes with the thankfulness of the people you deliver to," said Rhoadarmer.
A volunteer driver can expect to donate around an hour of their time. Once there are more volunteer drivers signed up, clients will get off the waiting list.