MEDFORD, Ore. — Food & Friends delivers about 900 meals a day to residents of Jackson and Josephine counties with about 700 of those being seniors. With winter temperatures now hitting Southern Oregon, the volunteers also do a quick safety check during their visit to make sure their clients are warm during the winter.
Food & Friends’ volunteers typically stick with the same clients and are able to see if there is something out of the ordinary or help is needed. About half their clients are 80 and older and often times have no family in southern Oregon.
About 70% of clients live alone and the food and friends volunteer may be the only person they see all day, making it all the more important for volunteers to be aware of a client’s needs.
“They’ll bring in the meal, set up for the client and just have a general conversation, just very quick ‘How are you doing? How’s it going?’ and they do notice things,” said Food & Friends spokesperson Evelyn Kinsella.
Officials said it’s not unheard of for seniors to sacrifice heating or air conditioning to lower utility bills to help pay for medications.