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placeholder May 18, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA

Rev. Richard Mangini of St. Bonaventure joins Alex and Hilda Montesclaros and Steve McMurdo, a parishioner at St. Bonaventure and volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels Senior Outreach Services. The Montesclaros get deliveries from Meals on Wheels.

Father Mangini helps with deliveries at Meals on Wheels

Rev. Richard Mangini, pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord, joined in Meals on Wheels' "March for Meals" event, part of a national campaign to raise awareness of senior's needs, especially around hunger and isolation.

"St. Bonaventure parishioners have been delivering meals for MOW for more than 20 years," reported Christa Fairfield, parish life director, evidence its parishioners are serving those in need. "Twenty-three of our parishioners are current volunteers."

Father Mangini, riding with volunteer and parishioner Steve McMurdo, shared a few adventures, surprising some clients — it's not every day a priest home-delivers your meals, said Carol J. Louisell, director of community engagement at MOW Senior Outreach Services in Walnut Creek.

The best story of the day, she recounted, was when Father Mangini and McMurdo got "a little lost and decided to ask the mailman for directions. The mailman immediately recognized Father Mangini and said he was sorry he hadn't been to Mass in a couple of weeks," she said.

In addition to Father Mangini, a number of civic and community leaders participated in the March 16-20 March for Meals.

The local Meals on Wheels delivers more than 725 hot meals weekdays to homebound seniors. Volunteers make sure the seniors answer the door and are safe, said Debra Mason, Municipal Advisory Council member in Bay Point, allowing seniors to stay in their homes.

"The need for volunteer drivers is greatest in Antioch and Pittsburg," said Sharon Fitzgerald, program manager of Meals on Wheels. "Out of 47 routes each day, eight are currently unfilled — four in Antioch and four in Pittsburg."

To help, contact Louisell at clouisell@mowsos.org or 925-954-8736. An online application, an orientation and background check are required.

Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services coordinates care for older adults in Contra Costa County via six service programs. For more information: www.mowsos.org.

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