NARCOG buses will no longer deliver homebound meals, seeking volunteers
MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – Eighty thousand meals are delivered yearly to home-bound patients who rely on them, courtesy of North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG).
People are used to seeing the red transit buses both transporting people and dropping off meals, now NARCOG wants to stop using their transit buses for their deliveries.
“For both Lawrence and Morgan counties, [food delivery service] can come up to a half a million dollars or more a year,” explained NARCOG executive director Jeff Pruitt. “Our ridership is up almost 10% over last year and we expect that to grow, if that’s going to grow, we need to operate more efficiently.”
In search of savings, they plan to shift to an all-volunteer system, ideally, about fifty people in their personal cars.
But they want it to be clear: they will continue to deliver meals, no matter how they get it done.
Pruitt says he expects volunteers to be phased in, and says it’s more than just a meal.
“A lot of these seniors, this may be the only visit they get that day, maybe that week,” he said. “It’s a meal but its also a friendly smile and a kind word.”
He explains that the NARCOG board of directors also authorized him to hire a volunteer
coordinator who will be in charge of the recruitment and assignment of volunteers. He hopes to have that position filled in less than 60 days.
He says moving to a volunteer-only system will allow them to make sure their buses are getting people where they need to go, like doctors appointments, knowing many of their passengers are seniors as well.
Want to get involved?
If you are interested in either volunteering to deliver meals or apply for the volunteer coordinator position, you can reach NARCOG at 256-355-4515 or 800-682-8604 or visit their website here.