Instead of delivering meals, 24 volunteers for Palmerton's Meals on Wheels (MOW) were the guests of honor at a picnic at Palmerton Memorial Park, given in appreciation for all they do.

Chicken barbecue, with all the trimmings, was made by the Blue Mountain Health Care-Palmerton Campus kitchen.

"It's nice to get together with everyone to express our thanks. They're always there to deliver meals to our clients, in rain, snow, whatever the weather. Some of our volunteers have been doing this for 25-30 years. They are amazing people," said Darlene Nothstein, MOW's president of the board of directors.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Palmerton began in 1972 by Dr. Jane Goplerud and Carolyn (Peg) Siller, the original founders and coordinators. The nonprofit 501c3 organization provides meals prepared at the Palmerton Hospital for residents in the community who cannot prepare their own and are delivered by volunteers.

Special recognition was given to the late Dr. Goplerud, who passed away last February.

"She left money to 25 organizations and we're lucky to be one of them," Nothstein says.

MOW runs almost entirely on its volunteers and donations.

"Our volunteers do so much more than just deliver meals. A lot of our clients depend on us entirely. Our volunteers are sometimes the only visitors some of our clients receive. Families know that our volunteers are a reliable source of someone checking on their loved ones on a daily basis," said Richard Bowman, MOW's coordinator.

The clients' nutritional and dietary needs are screened and meals are planned accordingly, based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet.

The Palmerton MOW currently serves 16 clients.

Meals on Wheels is always looking for more volunteers and donations.

For more information, contact Bowman at (610) 826-1163. Donations can be sent to Richard Bowman, 135 Lafayette Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071.

"Our volunteers are very dedicated. They just keep going," says Nothstein.