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Meals on Wheels finally resumes in Elkhart

By Ed Ernstes
Published On: Jan 29 2014 05:56:37 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 29 2014 05:57:04 PM CST

For the first time in a week, the Elkhart Salvation Army Wednesday was able to get out and deliver its Meals on Wheels to those in need. WSBT's Ed Ernstes explains how the snow and ice stopped deliveries.

ELKHART -

Recent sub-zero temperatures and snowfall have affected many programs that help those in need.

Elkhart's Salvation Army "Mobile Meals" program was finally able to resume on Wednesday after being shut down for a week.

Without those meals, those in need had to make do.

Volunteers Wednesday resumed their efforts to drive meals to the homes of the elderly and those living on fixed incomes.

"They want the food," said Julie Poertner of the Salvation Army. "They probably need the food, and I am sure they need the food in most cases. It feels bad when you can be there for them, and they are counting on someone to be there."

Bitterly cold temperatures proved too much to deliver those meals until now. With travel advisories and snow restrictions in effect, the Salvation Army felt it was too difficult to make deliveries, especially since many of the drivers are older and would have a tough time making their rounds.

"The majority of people that do deliver for us are retired, older people, and we don't want them out either, trying to deliver, so that's been the problem," Poertner added.

"I do it primarily to meet the older people and help them out," said volunteer driver Bill Czirjak. "A lot of them, it's the only source of their food for the day."

Chester Johnson, who lives on a fixed income, is one of those who receives meals delivered to his home.

"I get a hot meal every day, which I am totally appreciative for, and I don't know if I could do without it," Johnson said.

The Meals on Wheels program is in desperate need of volunteer drivers. If you or someone you know is interested in helping, contact the Elkhart Salvation Army.