Volunteering to Deliver Meals

Meals-on-Wheels, Volunteering - Personal

For her last blog post, follow Adeline taking part in a delivery shift for Santropol Roulant.

I couldn’t wait to try out meal delivery with the Roulant. This is a shift that takes place in the afternoon, from approximately 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.

As this was my first time doing the deliveries, I was asked to arrive 30 minutes early to receive all the information I’d need. And so that I wasn’t alone, I was paired up to travel with Eloise, a new employee in the team. I really appreciated this gesture as it was reassuring for a first-timer to have a partner to go with.

There were several volunteers delivering meals to different areas of Montreal. Some traveled by car, others by bicycle or on foot. Eloise and I received Center-Sud as a sector and made the journey on foot.

It’s funny because I felt like I was in some kind of a race. We all had our envelopes containing:

  • the sector map;
  • the roadmap showing the names, contact details, and addresses of customers including certain specifications, as well as the distribution of dishes to be delivered to each of the households;
  • Pencils;
  • and of course a small container of disinfectant for COVID precautions.

With the backpack full of food, Eloise and I set out to explore Center-Sud. It was a great opportunity to chat on the road and get to know each other. This is also what I love about volunteering: meeting new people!

Our itinerary included delivering to seven addresses. We started with the address furthest from the starting point and then backtracked so that we’d end closer to the Roulant.

The deliveries were very special because all of the customers received, in addition to their usual meal, a pretty bouquet of flowers made that very morning by volunteers in urban agriculture. These flowers came from the roof of the Roulant and were the perfect finishing touch that made the experience even more authentic. Each client was pleasantly surprised to receive this little gift. So touching to see their happy faces.

Review of my experience

Here are some takeaways from my volunteer meal delivery shift:

  • An opportunity to meet the community : By delivering meals, we go directly to client’s home. I liked being able to exchange a few words with them.
  • A pleasant route : That day, I reached my WHO-recommended 10,000 daily steps, that’s for sure! In all honesty, the walk went very well. At the same time, it allows you to discover new corners of the city, which is quite nice.
  • Fun! : Traveling around town donating food to those who need it is so cool and satisfying at the same time.

Next time, I am thinking of doing the deliveries by bicycle!