Meals on Wheels driver: ‘This is the most important job I’ve ever done’
CategoriesFeatures

Meals on Wheels driver: ‘This is the most important job I’ve ever done’

Every morning, 1,600 elders in the Greater New Bedford area receive a meal along with a special visit.

The program, known as Meals on Wheels, began in the early 1980s when Coastline was designated by the state to operate the Elder Nutrition Program. Since then, a team of nutritionists, chefs, and staff members has worked together to provide residents with a warm meal.

But the program also serves another important purpose: wellness checks. For many elders, food delivery drivers are their sole companionship, sometimes going weeks without seeing anyone else. 

Drivers not only deliver food but also take the responsibility of checking on the recipients and spend time talking with them. And over the years, some of these daily interactions have grown into special friendships.

The Light spent time with one of those friends. Manuel Duarte delivers between 70 and 80 meals a day, always making a point to have a conversation and try to brighten someone’s day. “This is the most important job I’ve ever done,” he says.

Email multimedia reporter Eleonora Bianchi at [email protected].

The post Meals on Wheels driver: ‘This is the most important job I’ve ever done’ appeared first on The New Bedford Light.