Meals on Wheels delivers 500 Thanksgiving dinners, courtesy of volunteer taxi drivers
By David Bauerlein, The Florida Times-Union
For 20 straight years, Theodore Richardson Sr. has ridden in a Meals on Wheels version of a Thanksgiving Day parade.
In his case, it’s the parade of taxicabs that arrives on Thanksgiving mornings at St. Vincent’s Riverside to pick up meals prepared in the hospital’s kitchen.
The cabdrivers then spread out throughout the city to deliver about 500 meals to elderly people.
The annual event started 20 years ago. Richardson, 62, has driven on his own time and his own dime every year.
“It has grown so much,” Richardson said. “You meet a whole lot of people. A lot of them don’t have families and they’re happy to have someone to talk to, even if it’s not more than two minutes or 10 minutes.” St. Vincent’s HealthCare teams up with Aging True to do the Thanksgiving deliveries.
The hospital’s team oversees the preparation of 150 pounds of turkey, 125 pounds of green beans, 125 pounds of mashed potatoes, 125 pounds of stuffing and 75 pounds of cranberries. Volunteers divide the food into meal-sized portions, and volunteer drivers from Northern Florida Transportation Group provide the wheels to deliver the meals.
“We’re all truly blessed by God with the gifts we are able to extend today,” St. Vincent’s CEO Moody Chisholm told the volunteers.
“What a great day,” said Aging True CEO Teresa Barton. “Once you’ve done it, you know how important it is.”
Then the taxicabs starting to roll. Richardson, like the grand marshal of this parade, had the honor of being the first one to leave.
View the Slideshow from the Florida Times Union