2021 Meals on Wheels Sweethearts
The 13th annual Meals on Wheels Sweethearts for 2021 are Angela and Jeff Schroeder of Summit. Local residents for 24 years, the couple started working at SAGE’s Meals on Wheels during the COVID-19 lockdown. The parents of six children, (four daughters and two sons, ages 16, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 25), they credit their sons with getting them involved in Meals on Wheels. The boys, who were home working remotely, had each been delivering a route. They praised the program so much that Angela and Jeff decided to get involved. Since then, it has become a family affair with all eight of the Schroeder’s pitching in to support Meals on Wheels. Whether it is sorting food donations, filling bags with non-perishables, driving a route or making beautifully printed labels to make packages look extra special, everyone has devoted time and energy to the program.
“It’s such an easy thing to volunteer to do,” said Angela. “And it makes a tremendous impact.” She noted that through Meals on Wheels she has discovered pockets of Summit she didn’t know existed. “Beautiful old homes in neighborhoods I didn’t know were here.”
Angela and Jeff have become very fond of the people they deliver to as a team every Thursday. When they learned a client had been hospitalized, they sent flowers. When it’s apparent that someone needs a visit as much as they do a meal, they mask up and make time to talk. One of Angela’s favorite Meals on Wheels encounters was when she and Jeff were delivering a meal to a local gentleman, Mr. A. When they arrived, Mr. A was talking from his porch to a neighbor. As Jeff approached, he called out “Looking good Mr. A.” The client was so thrilled and proud for his neighbor to see that these people were there just to see him. “You could tell it was a real boost for him,” said Angela. “That’s the magic of Meals on Wheels.”
Noting that they have both volunteered for many organizations, the couple praised the staff at SAGE for their positive energy, commitment to what they do and their professionalism. “It’s so impressive how everything is so well organized and how grateful they are for the volunteers,” said Jeff.
For more information about getting involved at SAGE, please call 908-273-5554.