Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Putting the Brakes on Meals on Wheels

     Monday afternoon I made my way down to Cal's Party Store to get something to drink.  I was midway through the process of moving my roof rack from my red car to my silver one and needed a break from working in the hot sun.  As I walked out of the store after paying for my Powerade and Resse's Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bar I noticed this article on the front page of the Sunday Detroit Free Press.  If you can't figure out how links work or just plain don't like to read I will tell you what the article is all about.  It's about how the Meals on Wheels programs in metro Detroit are suffering as a result of high gas prices.  Makes sense, right?  I thought so.  But it made me think a little bit.  And I started to wonder...what the hell is the deal with Meals on Wheels?
     I am all for the concept, don't get me wrong.  I am not going to sit here and tell you that the elderly or invalid don't deserve to have hot, home style meals delivered to them when they can't cook for themselves.  I think it's a great program.  But I ask you this: Has anyone every actually seen this program in action?  Do you know anyone who gets Meals on Wheels?  Because I don't.  I have never seen someone deliver the little silver tin of food with the white cardboard cover.  And I don't know anyone who has ever opened one to reveal the pork chop and canned peas inside.  Not my grandma or my elderly neighbor has ever received a meal on wheel.  Never.  I don't even know if I would be able to order some meals on wheels for gramps.  Where do you call?  What combination of ten numbers do you dial into your phone to make some volunteer on the other end pick up and take your address?  I have no idea either.  I am starting to think that Meals on Wheels is like the Coast Guard: everyone has heard of it, only a small percentage of the population has seen it in action, and no one knows where to go to sign up.  Seriously.
     All this begs another question.  If you don't know anyone who gets Meals on Wheels, and I don't know anyone who gets Meals on Wheels, and neither of us has ever actually seen someone get Meals on Wheels, how is it that everybody knows about Meals on Wheels?  If nobody has ever seen it how can we really verify that it is real?  I mean, I know that the Free Press has seen it in action, and that they actually have pictures, but still.  Pictures can be doctored.  Pictures can be faked.  I have a picture of me and PePe and a bunch of people dressed up like we were in the Old West, and we were never in the Old West.  We were in a Frankenmuth, MI.  See what I mean?  The Free Press could have just followed the guy who delivers Chinese food around and said he was with Meals on Wheels.  I guess that technically it IS a meal on wheels.  But that's not the point.  Someone show me this program in action.  Because the more I think about it the more skeptical I become.
      Questions keep popping up.  Who is making these meals?  Is there a secret kitchen lair filled with grandmas making pasta alfredo, swiss steak, or vegetable stir-fry?  Do they even include vegetable stir-fry in the menu?  I would imagine not.  I am thinking that it is heavy on the mashed potatoes.  And no corn, that will turn up in a very nasty place later.  But who is making this food?  Chef school students?  I want to know.  And what if the person receiving the meal is really fat?  Can they get two?  Can they get a horse trough delivered?  If I am a paraplegic can I get a feed bag filled with maple brown sugar oatmeal?  See, nobody can answer these questions because Meals on Wheels is harder to find information on than The Skulls.  
     So maybe we should put a stop to these shenanigans before they go too far.  Maybe the elderly are slipping cut rate prescription drugs into the country in the tins.  Is anyone inspecting these things?  What if the delivery people are taking bites of the brownie parfait dessert?  This is so terribly uncertain that the plug should be pulled until we can figure out what the hell is going on.  If we can find the damn plug.  It could be in those tins for all I know.  I am to very sorry to the elderly and the invalid, but we need to but the brakes on Meals on Wheels.  For everyone's good.

1 comment:

SandRiverGuy said...

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