Executive Director: John Ward
Cell: (609) 477-6365
Home: (609) 259-2505
Senior Center, 1117 Route 130 (Municipal Complex)
Robbinsville, NJ 08691
They are called the "Golden Years."
However, for some in our aging community these years are tarnished by illness, loneliness, diminished capacity and a loss of independence. Family and friends may want to help, but do not know how.
Sometimes, there just isn't anyone around to help. In either case, folks have turned to the Township of Robbinsville "Meals on Wheels" program for help ... and you can too!
Meals On Wheels helps seniors to:
- Remain independent
- Maintain their nutritional health
- Act as a referral source
- Live their life with dignity
To Get a Meal or Become a Volunteer:
Contact: John Ward
Mobile: (609) 477-6365
Home: (609) 259-2505
Volunteering (Download the flyer)
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop
Volunteering with Meals on Wheels (MOW) provides the opportunity to make a direct and meaningful difference in the quality of someone's life. Volunteering also can help an individual grow both personally and professionally, explore alternative career directions, develop lasting friendships with clients and other volunteers, meet new people and gain hands on experience and training.
Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver not only vital nutrition, but more importantly a welcoming dose of friendship and a lasting social connection. MOW welcome volunteers from churches, synagogues, schools, corporations and others in the community willing to generously donate their time and talents so the organization can continuing serving the needs of Robbinsville Township for decades to come.
Robbinsville Meals on Wheels Enters 3rd Decade of Service
By Laura Pollack
The Robbinsville Advance/MercerSpace.com
ROBBINSVILLE - (March 8, 2016) - For more than two decades, the Robbinsville community has rallied together to bring meals to homebound residents.John Ward, executive director of Robbinsville Meals on Wheels, said that for the past 21 years, local volunteers have been helping provide senior citizens and homebound residents with a hot, nutritious meal five days a week.
Robbinsville Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization, and they rely solely on donations from businesses, corporations or individuals within the community. Ward said they currently have 20 volunteers who deliver the meals to residents.
“They’re all volunteers—100 percent,” he said. “They pay for their own gas, donate their own time. They get nothing out of it except satisfaction of delivering meals to people who appreciate it.”
One volunteer driver, Ken Van Nest, has been with the organization since it opened, and Ward said he was recently honored by the township administration for his service to the community.
While the volunteers are a big part of the organization’s success, other members of the community have also played a substantial role in preparing meals for their neighbors. Robbinsville Meals on Wheels orders and receives their food in bulk through the Mercer County Nutrition Program. From there, volunteers help package and prepare the food each day at the township’s senior center.
Ward said without the help from the senior center and other volunteers, they wouldn’t be able to do what they do.
“I’d like to thank the Robbinsville Township Senior Center for helping us get each individual meal prepared each day,” he said. “They are very supportive.”
Ward said each meal comes with a hot entree—he cited one meal of steak with gravy and sides of green beans and roasted potatoes as an example—and additional cold food that includes fruit, juice, milk and other snacks. Businesses and local organizations will donate extra food for delivery as well. Ward said about five businesses in town donate food throughout the year, and the nurseries on Route 130 will also donate flowers that are delivered along with the participant’s meal. When residents receive a little something extra with their meal, Ward said they are “beyond thrilled.”
“They look forward to getting a little surprise every once in awhile. It means a lot to them,” he said.
In addition to business donations, they’ve also had high school students bake cookies for meal packages and women’s groups create baskets of personal items for the residents.
“The people here and businesses are very, very generous,” Ward said.
Ward said they currently serve roughly 22 residents, although that number is fluid with people joining and leaving the program depending on their situation. Some residents sign up for the program long-term, while others only stay on the program while they’re at home rehabbing or recovering from a surgery or illness.
“It is open to any Robbinsville adult who is home-bound, it doesn’t have to do anything necessarily with age,” Ward said.
Ward said each meal they provide is subsidized, with the recipient only paying for about half the full price of the meal. However, they have never turned anyone away who cannot afford the cost.
“Anybody who needs [a meal] will get it,” he said.
Ward signed up as a volunteer substitute driver seven years ago after he retired from teaching in the East Windsor Regional School District. He eventually worked his way up to become the executive director.
“I wanted to give back to the community,” he said. “I was here in Robbinsville on and off my whole life. Thirty-six years now I’ve lived here.”
As the organization is now entering its 21st year in operation, Ward hopes more people begin utilize the program.
“It’s one of these great programs,” Ward said. “I wish more people would take advantage of it."