For 54 years, Meals on Wheels has provided lunches to seniors in need.
And, during these challenging economic times, the needs have grown.
"All of the routes are full with large waiting lists for seniors who need meals," said Sharon Fitzgerald, program manager.
In Pittsburg, Bay Point and Antioch, the group has 16 daily routes.
Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers no- to low-cost meals to the homes.
"We are, in many cases, their last resort for food that is prepared and ready to eat," Fitzgerald said.
In East County, Meals serves nearly 300 seniors a nutritious meal each weekday. Overall, the program serves about 800 meals in Contra Costa.
A "typical" recipient is about 84 years old, no longer drives and "depends on their (delivery) as, in many cases, their main meal."
Fitzgerald said about 59 percent of the seniors live on $1,000 a month or much less. "We have seniors in East County living on $200 to $400 a month; well below the poverty level."
That big need means a higher demand for volunteer drivers.
The organization currently has 73 permanent drivers but needs more. She said substitute drivers are also wanted.
Meals are delivered between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. weekdays. Seniors who need weekend meals are provided a frozen meal for Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
In addition to providing meals, those delivering sometimes double as a safety check for the seniors.
Funding is via the Older Americans Act, grants but primarily from private donations. When possible, some clients donate toward their meals.
For more info on how to help, donate or to volunteer your driving services, call 925-937-8607 or visit www.mowsos.org.
A CUT ABOVE: A community -- of stylists -- is rallying around one of its own.
A dozen area salons are joining forces from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 21 for a haircut-a-thon.
All proceeds from the event will help Antioch resident and beautician Tami Clark, who was severely injured in an August boating accident.
Clark suffered a litany of injuries, including both legs fractured, a broken neck and a skull fracture. After four surgeries and a couple weeks in the hospital, the Antioch High grad returned home but needs 24-hour care. While recovery is going well, Clark still has a long healing road ahead of her.
And, because she is self-employed with no benefits, several fundraisers are being held to help with bills.
And that's where the dynamic dozen comes into play. All who attend one of the designated salons will receive a haircut for $20. Money will be donated to the Tami Clark Foundation.
The shops are: In Antioch, Wild Orchids, 1328 Sunset Drive, 925-759-6666; Bella Fortuna Salon, 5865 Lone Tree Way, 925-754-4000; Blue Rock Salon, 4049 Lone Tree Way, 925-978-9350; Hair Gallery, 3670 Lone Tree Way, 925-754-5212; Latinos Hair Salon, 611 East 18th St., 925-753-1663; Teazz, 606 W. 2nd St., 925-754-3001.
In Brentwood, there's Salon Dame, 3860 Balfour Road, 925-240-1747; Vibe Salon, 390 W. Country Club, 925-240-9900; and Salon Vitor, 6560 Lone Tree Way. And, in Oakley, there's DK Salon, 1625 Main St. Suite 1001, 925-679-9089; Vamp Salon, 2170 Main St., 925-418-4949; and Secret Garden, 3663 Main St., 925-565-6893.
All salons will take advance appointments and walk-ins. They ask that customers come with clean, dry hair. In addition to the haircuts, all places will raffle $100 worth of TIGI products, a sponsor of the cut-a-thon, and other prizes.
FALL INTO FUN: The Pittsburg Women's Community League hosts its annual fall luncheon at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 200 East Leland Road.
Over the years, the event has benefited a litany of programs that the 49-year-old club sponsors, including scholarships and book giveaways. This year's proceeds go to the Pittsburg High School jazz band, which will head to the Fiesta Bowl in 2013 and London in 2014.
In addition to a salad buffet, the band will perform. Also included are raffle prizes, white elephant gifts and a bake sale.
Cost is $5 per person. For more info, call 925-439-8145.
Contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com.