Neither snow nor rain nor heat” may be part of the unofficial postal service motto, but it also applies to those who deliver Meals on Wheels here in Montana.
The volunteer drivers with Meals on Wheels are out delivering no matter the weather. And that has been a challenge lately in Billings, with multiple inches of accumulated snowfall and subzero temperatures
Kenneth Peterson, one of the volunteer drivers, got stuck last Friday, Mar.1, making a delivery.
"I got into the driveway safely and delivered the meal," said Peterson. It was when he backed out into the street his troubles began.
"When I started to move and there wasn’t much traffic on this side street," Peterson added." All it was was fluff. And I got the car moving and all of a sudden it dropped. And there I was on ice and about 5 to 6 inches of snow."
Peterson said he dug his car out and with the help of a couple of the neighbors, he got moving.
Sometimes snow or ice prevents the volunteer from making a delivery.
If a delivery is not possible, Jaime Carpenter, the Billings Meals on Wheelss coordinator through the Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, calls the person. She checks to see if the person has a blizzard box, a supply of shelf safe food that was distributed in December for this type of situation.
"I remind them about their blizzard box and could they eat that for the day," said Carpenter. " And if that works out, fine. If that doesn’t then we take the meal out with 4-wheel drive."
Kenneth Peterson says despite the winter challenges, it’s rewarding.
"They like to see ya. For a lot of them, we’re the only people they see, so it’s pretty rewarding."