Meals on Two Wheels Program Aims to Allow Volunteers to Spend Qu - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Meals on Two Wheels Program Aims to Allow Volunteers to Spend Quality Time with Homebound Seniors

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Meals on Wheels, but with a twist--delivering them by bicycle! It's the brainchild of one man, a Carson City Senior Center volunteer, and cycling advocate.

Randy Gaa spearheaded the bicycle delivery effort just a few months ago, during the fall. Usually, Meals on Wheels drivers don't have a lot of spare time between deliveries to stay and chat with recipients, but Gaa wanted to change that, and now uses his lunch break, to make the difference. 

At least once a week, Gaa picks up hot meals from the senior center and delivers them to homebound community members by bicycle. His 'two wheels' idea is unique, since he carries enough meals for just one household. But, that's exactly what allows Gaa to spend quality time, without the typically rushed delivery schedule.

Gaa says, "By spending time with them, it lets them know that hey, you're still important, you're still valuable and you still mean something to the rest of us."

Recipients like Monte Fast, whose wife is currently in the hospital, recovering from heart surgery. Fast is recovering from eye surgery himself, unable to drive. He says he didn't have many options when it comes to meals, "What am I going to do for food? Meals on Wheels has saved my life."

Meanwhile, Gaa sees this as a way to simply give back. During Wednesday's delivery, the pair was too busy enjoying each other's company to actually eat the meals at the time. Instead, they got to know one another, sharing laughs. Gaa asked Fast about his history as a community leader in northern Nevada, "How did you make the transition from being a musician to being the Executive Director at F.I.S.H?" Fast answered, jokingly, "Well it's real easy, you just stop making music!

Before Gaa's lunch break was over, Fast--a former pastor, emotionally expressed his gratitude for the program. He said, "I'm suffering, yes. But, you don't suffer when you have people surrounding you." He continued, "A person who has faith, who has friends, will get well quicker than a person who doesn't. Why? Well it's one of the miracles of God's creations, it's the way we've been made. It's what we desperately need."

Mr. Fast is just one of many seniors served by Meals on Wheels through the Carson City Senior Center. To keep the program going, they're asking for donations. They say each meal costs about five to six dollars, but they're only reimbursed for about half of that cost. 

The center continues to serve the meals, even though they're not funded, to avoid having to turn away any seniors or put them on a wait list. They expect to serve around 90,000 meals this year, and need all the help they can get. 

If you'd like to help out, you can visit their Facebook page here, and click on the "donate" button.

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