Meals on Wheels gets Dominion Energy donation

Dominion Energy Supervisor Stephen Thompson; Dominion Supervisor Richard Thompson; Christine Mitchell, external affairs representative for Dominion Energy; Wood County Senior Citizens Association Inc. Executive Director Kelly Goedel and Nina Oates, nutrition director for the Wood County Seniors Center, were at the Wood County Senior Citizens Center Tuesday. Dominion Energy presented a $5,000 check to the center for its Meals on Wheels program. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Seniors Association’s Meals on Wheels program will be benefiting from a donation given by Dominion Energy.

Officials from Dominion Energy and the Wood County Seniors Association gathered Tuesday at the Wood County Senior Center on Market Street so Dominion could present a $5,000 check to the center for its Meals on Wheels program.

The program provides and delivers around 180 meals for seniors throughout Wood County.

The grant came from Dominion’s West Virginia Community Investment Board for the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation through its Critical Community Needs Grants.

“Through this grant, we hope to support seniors nutritional access and commend the WCSCA for their efforts in our community,” Christine Mitchell, external affairs representative for Dominion Energy, said. “By their efforts, the Wood County Senior Meals on Wheels Program will reach 180 homebound seniors each day.”

Dominion gives out over $1 million every year in the areas of food, shelter and other basic human needs.

”They showed a need,” Mitchell said. ”We thought that was a good use of our money.

”We try to be a responsible neighbor. We have a lot of facilities in the Wood County area. We try to give back to the communities where we do business.”

Kelly Goedel, executive director for the Wood County Senior Citizens Association, said they have around 150 people on a waiting list to get on the Meals on Wheels program.

The senior center recently added a fourth route to its delivery programs and is looking at the possibility of doing a fifth route at some point.

”We are always looking at expanding,” she said. ”However, that takes funding and support from the community to do that.”

Part of the money will go toward maintaining services for those they already serve and to add people.

They always have a need for volunteers to help with meal preparation, loading and delivery.

Nina Oates, nutrition director for the Wood County Seniors Center, said one of the challenges it has had, especially during the recent cold weather, is keeping the food warm throughout the day during delivery. Some of the money donated will buy heated bags that will help keep the food hot.

Through home delivered meals and meals served at the center, the center does around 50,000 meals a year.

”There are a lot of seniors out there who don’t have a lot of family or anyone nearby to help them prepare these meals,” Oates said. ”Some of them are unable to do it themselves. They really count on us. Sometimes we are the only people they see during the day.”

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