KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Tuesday, Mobile Meals in Knox County operated on a one-hour delay because of hazardous road conditions due to an unexpected snowfall Monday night.
The weather caused some roads to freeze, leading to several wrecks and traffic delays across East Tennessee. Mobile Meals said that volunteers picked up meals between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Tuesday before driving off from their kitchen to deliver them.
They said anyone with a four-wheel drive vehicle who is interested in volunteering should text or email their name and contact information to either 865-680-2594 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those kinds of cars can more easily navigate potentially hazardous roads and reach seniors across the county.
"The city and county have done a great job getting the primary roads cleared, but those back roads are slick. So, we are trying to find people with four-wheel drive who are comfortable driving in the snow, to get out and serve all of the seniors throughout Knox County," said Judith Pelot, the nutrition services director at the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee.
They said they were actively looking for volunteers to help deliver food in the snow and to check on seniors around the area to make sure they're safe.
"During that time, we found people with busted pipes and heat not working. So, we are determined to get out today and to get meals served and do those daily safety checks to make sure our seniors are safe in the community," said Pelot.
They said that it's especially important to deliver food during wintry weather since it gives the nonprofit a chance to check on seniors and make sure they are safe despite the cold.
Mobile Meals delivers food to around 1,100 seniors across Knox County, usually with only around 100 volunteers. Most of the time, meals are delivered between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Volunteers can deliver as often as their schedule permits, and delivery times average around two hours per route. They said they have around 70 routes to cover in total.
Anyone who wants to volunteer for Mobile Meals in Knox County can also find a volunteer application on their website.