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77-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer delivers food after storm

Retired teacher has volunteered about 20 years
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 18, 2022

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — A retired school teacher, 77-year-old Trudy Jones looks for teachable moments and finds them through her volunteer work as a delivery driver for North Canton Meals on Wheels.

"I do it because I like to help people and also my dad got Meals on Wheels when he was living alone before he died," Jones said.

Her clients know her as "Trudy on Tuesdays" because that's when she delivers hot and cold meals to people in the North Canton area.

Around lunchtime, Jones dropped off food to an elderly resident who came to the door with a smile.

"I"m glad to see you out and about. You look pretty in your green," Jones told the resident.

Jones told News 5 she realizes senior citizens, and others who are homebound, count on her and other volunteers for food especially the day after a bad winter storm.

"I just hate the thought of them being there. Many of them have limited mobility trying to fix themselves something to eat. I've had clients who have fallen trying to fix their own breakfast," Jones said.

With the exception of some holidays, the local non-profit delivers meals every day during the workweek. Canceling for weather is rare, but program director Lucy Keenan made the decision to call off the deliveries on Monday after the area was hit by a foot of snow.

"Because the sow was forecasted to be a lot, we didn't want to worry about anybody driving or getting stuck or hurt," Keenan said.

The North Canton program has about 50 clients and about the same number of volunteers. It's not connected to the national Meals on Wheels program.

"We do not get any kind of government funding. We exist by the small fee we charge for our meals and our donors and our volunteers," Keenan said.

On Tuesday, the roads in Stark County were in much better shape, but Jones said she doesn't shy away from her deliveries when Mother Nature turns ugly.

"Unplowed driveways—stairs icy— I've got my shovel in my car today because I've had to shovel my car out," she said. "I'm an independent person and not much stops me."

As a volunteer and a former educator, Jones is quick to teach a quick life lesson in between deliveries.

"We would welcome more clients. People don't know to call, but we have delicious meals and pleasant people delivering them we hope," she said.

Those interested in becoming a client, volunteering, or donating can contact North Canton Meals on Wheels at 330-494-0366.