Upshur County Senior Center staff members Brittany Gebler, lead cook, and Susie McKisic, nutrition site supervisor, offer pickup Meals on Wheels meals at the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department in Hodgesville Wednesday. / My Buckhannon file photo from October 2022

Meals on Wheels may be rolling closer to you: Senior Center offering to-go meals at fire departments in outlying areas of Upshur County

HODGESVILLE – Older adults who live in outlying areas of Upshur County could see Meals on Wheels rolling closer to them in the coming months.

The Upshur County Senior Center is in the preliminary phase of expanding the reach of its Meals on Wheels routes by hosting monthly satellite lunches and optional blood pressure checks at three area fire departments. So far this month, Senior Center employees offered grab-and-go meals from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department in Rock Cave on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and from noon to 1 p.m. at the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department in Hodgesville on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Senior Center employees also plan to offer lunches once a month at the Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department in Ellamore, but a date has not yet been scheduled.

At the fire department in Hodgesville Wednesday, Upshur County Senior Center Nutrition Site Supervisor Susie McKisic said senior center executive director Tracie Thompson and her staff are hosting the satellite meals for two reasons: to reach more people in rural areas of Upshur County and to gauge where one or more new Meals on Wheels routes are most needed.

“With the regular Meals on Wheels program, we deliver them to their house, but this is an off-site, once-a-month program where we’re going to take meals out here so people can come to the fire departments and we’ll give them a meal,” McKisic said. “It’s a way to reach people farther out in the county, and another reason we’re doing this is to see in which area people need them, so we can expand our Meals on Wheels routes to go out further.”

The grab-and-go meals are available to adults 60 years and older who may simply stop by their area fire department once a month to pick up the free meal. (Please see the schedule here.)

“We’re wanting to expand,” McKisic added. “We’re either going to add one route or two more routes to reach out further in the community so we can help people there.”

The Upshur County Senior Center already offers two Meals on Wheels routes in Buckhannon, and older adults can also come to the center from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday for an eat-in lunch. From 11:30 a.m. to noon, grab-and-go lunches are likewise available for pickup for older adults still taking precautions due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic or other reasons. Each meal provides three ounces of meat, two vegetables, one piece of fruit and milk, McKisic said.

You can see a menu, sign up for meals or learn more about the Upshur County Nutrition Site at the Senior Center’s website here.

So far, the response to the satellite meals program has been minimal, but McKisic said it could take a while for word to spread.

“I’m sure it’s going to take some time to reach out to the people and let them know we’re doing this,” she said.

The Upshur County Senior Center serves about 65 people via their Meals on Wheels program and another 60 through their eat-in and grab-and-go lunch options, McKisic estimated.

To sign up for Meals on Wheels, call 304-472-6967 or for more information about the Senior Center’s various services, please visit their website or call 304-472-0528.

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