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Meals on Wheels looking for volunteers to do virtual visits on Thanksgiving

The non-profit organization's 'Friendly Chats' program helps provide companionship for older adults in a safe way.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Meals on Wheels is in need of hundreds of volunteers for Thanksgiving.

The non-profit doesn't just need help to drop off food, but to also keep older adults company in a safe way. The program is called "Friendly Chats" and officials are looking for about 500 volunteers, especially those who speak multiple languages.

Here's how the program works: Volunteers call seniors on Thanksgiving Day to make sure they aren't lonely. Julie Piper Finley with Meals on Wheels said it means a lot for them to have someone to talk to. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels has been doing no-contact food deliveries. It's the right move to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but it also creates more social isolation.

"Until they develop a vaccine for the virus we cannot bring them together in a meal setting," Finley said. "We really don't want to bring a lot of volunteers into their home. We just want to be trying to do the best we can to make sure they're fed and visited, even if it's not in person."

Sign up for Meals on Wheels volunteer programs

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