STROUDSBURG – Monroe County Meals on Wheels has been struggling since the fall with a waiting list of about 60 people in need of assistance.
Most of the folks on Meals on Wheels waiting list live in rural areas of Monroe County making them hard to reach.
Now a weekly frozen meal route is changing that.
Boxed up in coolers are a week’s worth of frozen lunches and dinners. Monroe County Meals on Wheels just started to deliver them to a few rural areas in the Poconos where the need is overwhelming.
"I really got to thinking about this when I got a voicemail from someone that said, 'My dad has been on the waiting list since April and I thought you people were here to help people,' and that was like a real eye opener,” said Monroe County Meals on Wheels Executive Director Heidi Fareri.
The waiting list was about 60 names long.
Now with rural frozen meal routes, it’s cut the list by 20.
Ricky Yeisley of Saylorsburg couldn’t be more thankful. He’s nearly blind at the age of 42 and has lost both of his parents.
"I don't get out to the store very much because I don't drive. There's a serious transportation problem in this area,” said Yeisley.
This is the second time Meals on Wheels has brought him meals of all varieties that include fresh bread, dairy, and fruit on the side.
Now that Meals on Wheels has developed these rural routes in the west end, in Tobyhanna, and in Pocono Pines, it's looking for a few more drivers to help out.
Until then, staff at Monroe County Meals on Wheels are buckling up and driving the routes once a week.
“I do the west end route and right now, round trip from here, it's an hour and a half to two hours at the most,” said Fareri.
Those in need hope this program is here to stay.
“It's really actually working out well, I've got to tell you. It's the best I've eaten in a week was the past week, in all truthfulness,” said Yeisley.
Anyone looking to volunteer can contact Monroe County Meals on Wheels in Stroudsburg at 570-424-8794.