Volunteers Deliver Food and Hope to Visually Impaired Clients
Lakeview Pantry’s Home Delivery program can be a lifeline to nutritious, healthy meal staples for many members of the Lakeview community.
The program offers a monthly delivery of canned goods, meats, vegetables, fruits and other groceries for homebound, elderly or disabled clients (including options for those who are diabetic or in need of heart healthy choices).
But our visually impaired neighbors face an added complication. Once they receive their groceries, identifying the foods can be difficult.
Enter Teresa Gallo and Dawn Ragan, Home Delivery volunteers who go the extra mile to ensure our clients have access to the food they need.
One Saturday a month – like many Home Delivery volunteers — Teresa and Dawn use their own cars to pick up pre-packed bags of groceries at the Lakeview Pantry Broadway location and deliver them throughout the neighborhood. Typically they deliver the food to clients and are on their way. When they arrive at the homes of visually impaired clients, though, they engage in a special process.
“We were asked if we’d be willing to provide a little extra assistance to a couple of our delivery clients,” Teresa explains. “We unpack the delivery bags with the clients and identify each item in the bags.”
They also help the clients arrange the items so they’ll be able to identify the food once Teresa and Dawn are gone. One client, in particular, “has a small cassette recorder that she uses as an oral record of the canned goods that she has carefully lined up on the counter,” Teresa shares.
After Teresa and Dawn help the clients identify what’s in their bags, the client can use their recording to make Braille labels for canned and boxed items that can be hard to identify.
Teresa says the clients are always grateful for the extra help. And she and Dawn are touched by the experience, as well.
“Helping people meet a basic human need makes me feel good,” she says. “And a bonus is I get to hang out with a friend while doing a good deed.”
If you’d like more information about volunteering for Lakeview Pantry’s Home Delivery or other programs, visit our Become a Volunteer Page.