Meals on Wheels will start rolling again next week

May 5, 2020 Cranberry Living

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The 90 people who received their last dinner from Butler Meals on Wheels on March 23 can look forward to deliveries returning on Monday.

Mary Pataky, director of Butler Meals on Wheels, said meal delivery shut down because volunteers — most aged 65 through 85 -— were concerned about contracting COVID-19.

The county's Area Agency on Aging is providing frozen meals to Pataky's clients during the shutdown. She called clients throughout the shutdown to make sure they had enough food, and in some cases took food to vulnerable clients.

One change, however, will be that volunteers will no longer be paired up to deliver meals unless they are from the same household, according Pataky.

The agency's small staff will prepare the meals for delivery instead of the typical six volunteers.

In addition, Pataky said the sandwich meal requested by about half the clients will not be available during the pandemic because of the small group of volunteers preparing the meals.

All clients will be given a cooler bag they must place outside, and meals will be placed in the bags and left outside the door.

The volunteer delivering the meal will knock or ring the doorbell, and the client can retrieve their meal while the volunteer is at least six feet away.

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.