PITTSBURG — For 46 years Meals on Wheels has helped feed those who need help.
Last week the Pittsburg chapter gathered to honor those who help make that possible, and celebrate some changes.
Aside from honoring the many volunteers, the gathering was also an opportunity thank the retiring director and welcome the new one. After more than six years of service to the program the current director Jane Park will be retiring and incoming director Suzy Chapman will take her place at the helm of the Pittsburg program. A move for which Park said she was due, but is still bittersweet.
“My body decided that it was time to go ahead and retire, but I will really miss everyone,” Park said.
Prior to handling the Meals on Wheels program Park did administrative work for a surgeon's office. She said the part time position Meals on Wheels offered sounded like a good thing to keep her busy, but not too busy.
Now as she leaves Park said the program ended up giving her a lot of good memories.
“I really enjoyed meeting the recipients of the meals, and getting to know them,” Park said. “One of our recipients is 104 years old, and it is not everyday you get to know someone like that.”
For Park the job ended up being more than just something to keep her busy. She said she was happy to be a part of the program that helped others, and that it was very “fulfilling”.
“Meals on Wheels is not just important because of the food,” she said. “For some of the people we visit, they don’t have families here in Pittsburg anymore.
“So just someone stopping by and seeing them every day, that companionship, is very important.”
The job couldn’t have been possible, according to Park, without the help of her volunteers.
“I would really like to thank all of the drivers,” Park said. “They have always been so good, so willing to come if you need them, I really want to thank them for that.”
She said the cooks at Via Christi hospital, who prepare the meals for the program, have been wonderful to work with, and she is grateful for their friendship.
Park said she will be spending her retirement enjoying her five grandkids and one great grandchild.
To volunteer or for more information on qualifying for meals call the Meals on Wheels office at 231-4880.