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Smithtown senior meals program seeking volunteers

Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012)

Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

The Smithtown Senior Citizens Department needs volunteers to help deliver hot meals to seniors.

The Home Delivered Meal program — which is funded by federal, state and local government grants, and by donations from its clients — serves about 60 seniors ages 60 and older who are unable to provide a nutritious meal for themselves, said department director Laura Greif.

During the holiday season, “There are people who take vacations or they just volunteer for a short period of time,” Greif said of the need for volunteers. “It’s good to have a backup list.”

Volunteers deliver meals daily at lunchtime, Mondays through Fridays. The food, prepared by Zan’s Deli in Lake Grove, is prepackaged in hot and cold packs. Volunteers must take the temperature of the last meal delivered, which is logged at the senior center.

“The Department of Health regulates us, too, so we have to be very careful with our food,” Greif said. “Everything is delivered within the hour.”

Most of the seniors in the program live alone without family or home aides to help them prepare meals, she said. The meal program “means independence,” she said. “It allows them to be in their own home and to have the assistance that they need.”

The meal program also allows volunteers to check on seniors and report back to the center if the senior is in need of additional help, said Greif, adding, “We can either provide assistance or refer them to the appropriate agency.”

Interested volunteers can call 631-360-7616 or stop by the senior center, at 420 Middle Country Rd. in Smithtown, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
 

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