Polk Meals on Wheels file photo

Meals on Wheels of Polk County board treasurer and State Farm Insurance agent Dan Mann makes a delivery to Doris Mooers earlier this year.

Meals on Wheels of Polk County, Inc. has issued an urgent appeal for additional volunteer drivers to help it handle a 
surge in the number of homebound people needing meals.

According to Executive Director Susan Eldridge, the number of households served by Meals on Wheels has surged from 350 to between 450 and 500 per day.

Drivers are needed to help with routes in, among other places, Winter Haven, Lake Alfred, Auburndale, Haines City, Davenport, Dundee, Lake Hamilton and parts of Lakeland. Each route includes about eight to 15 households.

“All of our volunteer drivers derive a sense of satisfaction in knowing they are making a difference in our community not only by getting delicious, freshly-cooked meals to needy people — but also by greeting them. This is a tremendous reward for all of our wonderful volunteers,” Eldridge said.

All those who own a car, possess a valid driver’s license and have proof of insurance can drive for Meals on Wheels.

Those who would like to serve as drivers should contact Eldridge at (863) 299-1616, visit the organization’s Winter Haven office or visit www.mealsonwheelspolk.com.