Thank You to the Savers and Thanks to Mollie’s Meals
There is always someone in every office you can refer to as The Saver. You know, the one who clips articles, puts aside various newsletters, brochures, invitations and important memos about your organization. Thank goodness for The Savor because, without that person, how would you ever know what your company did in the past, what was accomplished, or who to honor for getting us where we are today?
At the Jewish Association on Aging, that person was Judy Blumenfeld, the office staff manager at Weinberg Village and an employee at JAA for over 40 years. Judy had a stash of items stuffed under her desk that was truly the history of JAA in a box.
Judy doesn’t work at JAA any longer but her legacy remains. Today I searched through her archives and found an article from the May 15, 2008 Jewish Chronicle written by Associated Editor Susan Jacobs, documenting the birth of Mollie’s Meals, a service JAA provides that still delivers meals to the home bound.
It all began with Mollie Dugan who “neither cooked nor delivered the meals that bore her name,” according to the article entitled, The ‘Mollie’ in Mollie’s Meals.
Turns out Dugan scheduled all the volunteers who made the door-to-door meal deliveries from the early 70s to the late 90s, long before professional staff managed volunteers.
Mollie was so devoted to her work that, as the article notes, “Once, when she was hospitalized for a few days, she took her route sheets with her, and made phone calls from her hospital bed.”
That’s dedication. That was Mollie Dugan.
The program was then called Kosher Home-Delivered Meals. JAA was known as the Riverview Center for Jewish Seniors which collaborated with Jewish Family & Children’s Services, now called Jewish Family Community Services. (I guess organizations like to change their names over time, something else we learn from The Savers).
When JAA took over the program in the late 90s, it was determined that Mollie should be given the recognition she so richly deserved and the name Mollie’s Meals became the official title of delivery service.
Mollie passed away in 2008 but her work remains true to its roots.
Today Mollie’s Meals is the only kosher meals-on-wheels organization in western Pennsylvania. Run by JAA, “Mollie’s” partners with the Allegheny Area on Aging and AgeWell Pittsburgh to provide meals to qualifying homebound seniors, thereby easing the burden when they are unable to prepare their own meals. Participants receive tasty, nutritious meals on a regular basis. The added bonus is socialization; communicating with caring staff members and friendly volunteers provides support, a watchful eye and, when necessary, referrals to additional community services.
Meals come at a modest fee on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If requested, Friday delivery can include weekend meals.
The service is available in the Pittsburgh area and surrounding neighborhoods.
Based on income limits, Allegheny County offers a subsidy on delivery costs.
Mollie Dugan made Mollie’s Meals what it is today. Her original intent, to help others who needed it, lives on.
We thank Judy B., JAA’s Savor, for recognizing the importance of Mollie’s Meals and the foundation Molly Dugan laid for a service we still value today.