NEW CANAAN — Whenever a new client signs on for the food delivery service Meals on Wheels, Linda Haney is the first face they see.

“It’s about putting a face to the name,” Haney, 51, said as she demonstrated the two large, insulated bags used to carry up to 12 lunches at a time. “When they tell me thank you, I really couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit community delivery service based at the Waveny LifeCare Network center at 3 Farm Road. Haney, the community coordinator for Meals on Wheels in town since May 2015, moved to New Canaan in 1997.

The Ohio native recently talked about her experience and responsibilities as one of the people who help run the food delivery program.

Q: What are your duties as community coordinator?

A: We are run in a partnership with Waveny LifeCare Network. We have a volunteer board that oversees grant writing and the bigger picture and the donations. I’m one of the employees who does logistics and client visits. We work with the LifeCare center kitchen and we make sure to get those meals from here to the clients.

More Information

To learn more about Meals on Wheels, visit: www.mowofnc.org

You can also call Linda Haney at 203-594-5318

Q: How many clients do you oversee?

A: We have probably around 51 clients in our database and we service anywhere between 29 and up to 31 on a daily basis. The reason for that is that not everyone gets served every day. Some clients ask for Monday and Friday, others ask for Tuesday and Thursday.

What we do want to get out is that we are open to anybody who lives in New Canaan. We don’t vet you through your age or your income. We’re here and we want to help you. If you need us because you can’t cook or you have a need, we’re here and we’re going to help.

Q: Does one deliver food and meet with people?

A: If it’s wanted. We don’t necessarily break bread with somebody, but we will sit down and talk to people. It’s a check-in and companionship. Sometimes our volunteers will spend half an hour with one particular client because they’re engaged and enjoying them. When my volunteers come back, they’re more fulfilled for touching someone’s life.

We have around 125 (volunteers) for Meals on Wheels alone. They come to us in a variety of ways through churches, Kiwanis and also other community groups. If you want to help and you have a car and a driver’s license, we want you.

Q: How do potential clients get in touch with you?

A: People come to us from Health and Human Services. We get people who just look on the website, others who need us and others who come out of rehabilitation. They come from all different places and some people just have been in the community long enough and know us.

Q: You’ve been in this position for over three years. Any changes you’d like to see?

A: We don’t want to change anything; the only thing that we want to change is to have more people.

The main thing is that we’re here for everybody. In this position, whenever we get a new client, I deliver the food to them for the first time.

It’s a face-to-face meeting and it’s about putting a face to the name and explaining the program.

When I leave and they tell me “Thank you,” that’s the most gratifying part of my job. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

To learn more about Meals on Wheels, visit mowofnc.org, or call Linda Haney at 203-594-5318.

humberto.juarez@

hearstmediact.com