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Community involvement: Boyd Frizzell finds a closer community through Meals on Wheels

Picture montage from Meals on WheelsPicture montage from Meals on Wheels

Like everyone else in the spring of 2020, First Tech Insurance Sales Agent Boyd Frizzell was looking for good ways to get outside. Covid had recently evolved to become the headline of nearly every news story, confining people to their homes and forcing us all to find new social outlets.

Boyd was spending much of his time in his home office, which looked out across the street where his longtime neighbor and friend had lived for over 30 years. As time went on, Boyd noticed his neighbor’s adult children stopping by the house more often to check on him.

“His daughters had noticed that he was forgetting to eat, and was starting to show potential signs of Alzheimer’s,” Boyd recalled. “I saw them delivering Meals on Wheels to the house and thought that was really great.”

After seeing their close friend and neighbor receiving this new service, Boyd and his wife were pushed into action.

They attended a Meals on Wheels orientation session, then passed a background check and got approved to begin delivering meals to seniors. Given plenty of flexibility, Boyd chose a delivery route close to home, making about 10 to 15 deliveries each Monday. Other volunteers chose routes multiple days per week, delivering to as many as 20 or 30 households.

“We started volunteering with Meals on Wheels so we could get out of the house, but it actually brings great joy to us,” Boyd said. “We’ve gotten to know the people we serve a good bit, and that’s rewarding. My wife found out one of our clients likes to read western novels, so we drop off books there when we can.”

Meals on Wheels supports seniors and helps them maintain their independence, combatting senior hunger and isolation through meal deliveries and social connections.

Unlike many other organizations that scaled back when Covid restrictions set in, Meals on Wheels of Salem/Keizer ramped up their service. Before the pandemic, the organization was delivering about 450 meals per day around the area. During the pandemic, that number rose to about 750 per day, delivered by over 200 volunteers.

Boyd and his wife represent just two of these volunteers, but they hope to recruit more friends to get involved in 2022 and beyond.

“If more people were to try it, they’d fall in love with it,” Boyd said. “It’s just very rewarding. I’ve done a few other volunteer opportunities, and this is the one where you really get direct reward because you get to see their happy faces and make that connection.”

If you are interested in getting yourself, your family or friends involved with Meals on Wheels, make sure you visit their website here and learn more about services in your area.