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Meals on Wheels a Constant Through the Unrest in West Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland watched like the rest of the country as Baltimore went through riots and unrest in April.

"These people need their food. They're older people. They're watching this unrest on TV. I knew they were upset," MOW volunteer LaRue Stanley said.

The non-profit prepares and delivers 700,000 meals annually to Baltimore City, as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, and Montgomery Counties.

"It was very important. I was very glad to see them, 'cause I've gotten spoiled, and I'm gonna miss 'em if they don't come," client Beatrice Turner said. "I never thought I'd live to see the day something like that would happen right here in Baltimore City."

During the unrest, MOW staff told volunteers they did not need to work. But, Stanley joined staff to deliver about 1,200 meals to clients in West Baltimore.

"Her response was, 'Why wouldn't I be here?'" Kimberly Street of Meals on Wheels said.

"I just felt like I was empowered. I was empowered by having that sign that said, 'Volunteer for Meals on Wheels delivery,'" Stanley said. "If I saw anybody--police or national guard--'Oh, no you can't come here.' I was gonna say, 'Oh, no. I'm bringing food to the people. I wasn't gonna take no for an answer."

The organization is always in need of more volunteers. The average age of MOW volunteers is 74. To learn more, go to www.mealsonwheelsmd.org.

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