Cold weather not stopping meal deliveries for seniors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cold weather not stopping meal deliveries for seniors

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The brutal temperatures and bitter winds across eastern Iowa are not stopping Ben Mccune from doing his job.

Mccune has been delivering meals to seniors in the Iowa City area for about four years, but Sunday's teeth-chattering cold is probably the worst he's seen.

"Over the years I've been pretty lucky with the weather," said Mccune. "You're coming on one of the worst days probably."

He says regardless of the cold, seniors need a hot meal.

Meals on Wheels with Johnson County Senior Dining delivers 150 hot meals Monday-Friday, and even delivers on weekends.

Richard Rodriguez, 80, is home-bound. He says without volunteers like Mccune, he'd be in bad shape.

"Listen, I wouldn't go out there, but I got to take my hat off to all these people that deliver our meals to us, without them, I don't know what we'd do."

However, organizers say it's more than just delivering meals, volunteers want to make sure seniors are safe, especially in these frigid temperatures.

Mike Nessloge is the Hiawatha Fire Chief.  He says it's vitally important to check on the elderly and protect them. He says they're not able to control their body heat to protect themselves.

While you're protecting them, Nessloge says to protect yourself. You can become frostbitten within minutes. 

"Essentially frostbite is the water crystals in your skin freezing," said Nessloge. "If your hands start turning red, they start burning, you're getting close, you need to get inside. It's important to cover up. Dress in layers cover up, have scarfs, hoods, hats, everything your mom told you about when you were little."

Johnson County Senior Dining will be closed Monday due to the cold weather.  

There will be no meals served and no Meals on Wheels deliveries.  

The organization did deliver extra meals on Friday anticipating no deliveries on Monday.
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