Meals on Wheels Assistant
Volunteer Job Description
It is our agency’s policy and in compliance with our contractual obligations to not recruit volunteers with criminal history in the following areas:
- Theft including but not limited to: fraud, forgery, grand theft auto, burglary, etc.
- Violence including but not limited to: assault, harassment, abandonment, abuse, molestation, rape, intimidation, arson, etc.
- Drugs including but not limited to: possession, distribution, use, manufacture, etc.
The above list is not meant to be inclusive of all crimes. If you have committed crimes that are referenced by another term but generally fall within these categories you are required to communicate those to your Supervisor prior to determining the suitability of a job match.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Schedule Meals-on-Wheels (MOW) volunteer drivers for each route daily.
- Work with volunteer coordinators at businesses, churches, and other organizations to schedule volunteers.
- Work with Kitchen Coordinator, Center Manager, and volunteer staff to coordinate packing and pick-up of MOW for delivery.
- Help maintain accurate records for MOW clients.
Average Time Commitment:
Between the hours of 8am and noon. Arrange schedule with the center manager. Schedule to volunteer once a week, once a month, or to be on call
Must be at least 18 years of age
- Good record keeping and organizational skills.
- Able to work well with a diverse group of individuals.
- Able to demonstrate flexibility, initiative, patience and reliability.
- Support Meals on Wheels People goal of promoting health and well-being of older adults.
- Willing to learn policies, programs and traditions of the center.
- Some centers may require you to participate in a criminal background investigation
All volunteers are responsible for tracking their hours at their worksite and encouraged to share a free meal with us as well.
Safety for Kitchen and/or Dining Room Volunteers
Volunteer Safety Training
Meals on Wheels People values its volunteers and their contributions to this organization. We want our volunteers to enjoy their time with us and have a rewarding experience. One aspect of that experience includes helping volunteers to understand how to work safely.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you perform your job. This is not an exhaustive list but we hope it provides you with some guidelines so you can fully enjoy your time with us.
- Be aware of the tools you can use at your worksite to address emergency situations.
- Know the location and operation of the fire extinguisher.
- Learn the location of the first aid kit and the policy for using it.
- Learn where you can wash your hands.
- Horseplay, scuffling, and other acts which tend to have an adverse influence on the safety or well-being of the volunteers / employees are prohibited.
- No on shall knowingly be permitted or required to work while the volunteers / employee’s ability or alertness is so impaired by fatigue, illness, or other causes that they might unnecessarily expose themselves or others to injury.
- Always keep flammable or toxic chemicals in closed containers when not in use.
- Be aware of the potential hazards involving various chemicals stored or used in the workplace.
- Familiarize yourself with appropriate first aid responses to splashes, spills, inhalation of chemicals by asking your MOWP manager to review those with you.
Proper dress is required to ensure the safety of everyone:
- Dress in clean work clothes.
- Jeans or pans that cover your legs. No tights, jeggings or nylon pants.
- Short sleeve shirt / blouse if working in the Central Kitchen.
- Closed-toe shoes only. No high heels and no clogs. The use of non-slip shoes is best and encouraged for long term volunteers.
- Hairnets are required to be worn at all times while working in the kitchen.
- Clean-shave is preferred. Any facial hair must fit within the confines of a hair/beard net that we provide.
- Appropriate hygiene.
- No facial piercings. Earrings must be small enough to be covered by the hair net we provide.
- No artificial nails. Nails must be kept trimmed, filed, and cleaned.
- If wearing a band aid, you must use a kitchen safe blue band aid provided by your MOWP supervisor and single-use gloves must also be worn over it.
Proper Hand washing:
- Always wash hands after using the bathroom, after coughing, sneezing, smoking, eating, or drinking.
- Wash hands after bussing a table, before putting on gloves, after handling animals, and when switching between raw and ready-to-eat food.
- Also wash hands after handling garbage or trash, after handling dirty equipment or utensils, and during food preparation.
Help prevent skin burns in the kitchen:
- Use oven mitts when handling hot objects.
- Don't overheat oil - it can burst into flames.
- Don't let handles stick out over the oven surface.
- Place warning signs near hot equipment or surfaces.
- Open oven doors and lids of steam heated equipment away from the body.
- Should a burn occur, never put ice or butter on a first degree burn as this could damage the skin further.
Fire safety in the kitchen:
- Keep loose clothing and hair away from open flames as they can easily catch fire if they come into contact.
- Monitor the grease traps. Full grease traps have pieces of food and maybe even stray paper products inside them that can catch fire when more hot grease is added.
- Keep walkways and storage areas uncluttered as fire can quickly spread if they are dirty and cluttered.
- Do not use any appliance that is faulty or has frayed electrical cords as they are more likely to spark and cause an electrical fire.
- Store flammable materials away from open flames or heat sources so they do not combust.
- Know where fire extinguishers are located, how to manually activate the fire suppression system and the emergency exit four for your work area.
- Regularly clean grill surfaces. Grease and food particles can accumulate on a grill's surface and easily ignite if not removed.
- Avoid an over-crowded cook line as this increases the risk that a stray article of clothing will come in contact with an open flame.
- Never throw water on a grease fire as this will only make it worse. Instead use a Class K fire extinguisher for large fires or baking soda for small skillet fires.
Fire Alarm Evacuation
When the Fire Alarm sounds, act immediately to ensure your safety:
- NEVER ignore the alarm, assume the alarm is false, or assume it is only a fire alarm test.
- Everyone MUST evacuate the building by way of the safest and closest exit and/or stairway. NEVER use an elevator to exit during a fire alarm activation.
- Once outside the building, move away from the building. Each center will have its own meeting location
- The front of the building is where the fire fighters and fire trucks will be operating. Do not obstruct their access to the building.
- If there is an incident occurring on the upper floors and glass is being blown out of the windows, the area below is the hazard zone where serious personal injuries will happen. Stay away from this hazard zone.
- Once outside, never re-enter the building until you are told to do so by the fire department or Police.
Know your limitations:
- Do not overexert your body.
- Remember to take mini breaks to refresh yourself and maintain your energy and focus.
- When you feel overwhelmed, ask someone for help.
- Be patient with yourself and others around you.
- Work together to help other new volunteers feel included
- There may be times that a participant or guest exhibits inappropriate behavior. If someone speaks in a manner that makes you uncomfortable or creates an intimidating or hostile environment please remove yourself from the situation and inform the center manager who will decide on how best to proceed.
Seniors are at increased risk of being infected by germs in their environment. So, if you are feeling ill please notify your MOWP supervisor that you will not be arriving for your schedule.
- The sniffles, sneezing or coughing
- Sore throat, queasy or upset stomach/intestinal issues
If a person falls it’s natural to want to help. Offer assistance but let them help guide your actions:
- Ask the person to relax and take some breaths.
- Try and let the person do the work themselves.
- Ask the person how you can help - don't assume you know best.
- Ask the person to use a sturdy table / chair to support themselves as they slowly rise.
- Call 911 if there is visible injury or the persons complain of pain.
- Move the person until you know they are not seriously injured.
- Hurry the person.
- Help lift the person if you are not confident. Know your limits and ask for assistance.
Never use a metal ladder where it could come in contact with energized parts of equipment, fixtures or circuit conductors.
Work areas should be maintained in a neat, orderly manner. Trash and refuse are to be thrown in proper waste containers.
All spills shall be wiped up promptly. Signs should only be up when the floor is wet and removed as soon as the floor dries.
- If you see a participant who has a wallet out in the open, recommend it gets tucked away.
- Lock and re-lock. All petty cash boxes should be in either a locked drawer or locked office.
- If guests can see where petty cash is located, frequently change the location.
- Praise anyone who turns in a valuable item that was otherwise misplaced.
- Valuable equipment needs to be put away in a secured location after every use.
- Leave valuables at home. Meals on Wheels People is not responsible in the event of loss or damage.
Report all accidents, injuries and illnesses to the center's manager / supervisor immediately. While volunteers are not covered under the Meals on Wheels People insurance or worker’s compensation policy, we are concerned about everyone working in a safe environment and we will take corrective action when necessary.
If you come across unsafe working conditions or have ideas on how to make the work environment safer, please communicate those to your MOWP supervisor.
Volunteer Job Descriptions
- Holiday Card Decorating Project
Decorate a Holiday card for a senior! Meals on Wheels People will be sending a special hand-made card
to the seniors we serve during the Holiday season.