By Emily Drooby
The food is prepared. The drivers are packed and ready to confront the coronavirus crisis and deliver food to people who need it.
Driver John Kapica normally transports seniors – now he’s dropping off meals with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. And in the middle of the virus outbreak, the demand is growing.
John is doing his best to guarantee the Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Home Delivered Meals program is on track.
“It takes a special group of people to do this,” said John.
“Our seniors need us, even now more than before. The ones that could get out occasionally are not going out at all now,” explained Kathleen Dalbey of Southwest Queens Meals on Wheels.
Twenty more seniors signed up for food in just three days and at the same time, three senior centers needed increased deliveries.
Drivers are taking all necessary precautions – they have face masks, gloves and every car comes with its own bottle of Purell.
Drivers are putting food at the door to cut down on personal contact– but potential exposure to the virus is still scary.
“We can’t see it, that’s the hard part if you knew what you were looking for you would avoid whatever it is,” said John, who feels that despite any risks, pitching in to help seniors is worth it.
“I have a heart for them some of them are like my mom and dad that I’ve never had,” he continued.
Much like a family – John and the other drivers are there to feed and checkup on their seniors during the good times and the bad.
“I have had situations where I would be the last one to see them, they end up in the hospital and you find out you were the last one to talk to them,” he said.
It’s those deeps bonds that inspire John and all of the heroes keeping Meals on Wheels running during the coronavirus crisis.