Erie-area winters can be unpredictable, which is why local food services are pairing up to make sure those who are home-bound have food during emergencies. Severe winter weather can make it too hazardous for volunteers to deliver the food about 280 people rely on in our area.

Meals on Wheels prepares ready-to-heat meals and then has volunteers deliver them five days a week, every week of the year. They've been doing so for 47 years in Erie and they now serve Millcreek, Lawrence Park, and Harborcreek as well.

For the past seven to eight years, Meals on Wheels has been partnering with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern Pennsylvania to create Blizzard Bags. The bags are full of non-perishable food items that can be stored through the winter or until needed. Since Meals on Wheels mostly prepares ready-to-heat meals that don't keep very long, the organization wanted to do something to make sure the people they serve always have food when they need it.

Second Harvest Food Bank gives Meals on Wheels donated foods and other items to help keep costs down. Their missions are similar, to help feed the hungry in our area, but their approaches are different. Second Harvest Food Bank helps many people who can't afford to buy the groceries they need at a regular grocery store. Meals on Wheels delivers food to people who struggle getting out of their homes due to age or a disability.

Both welcome volunteers and donations to help serve the needy in our area. To learn more about volunteering with Meals on Wheels, call (814) 452-6930 or fill out the volunteer form here. To learn more about volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank, click here.