Warming centers and Meals on Wheels drivers keeping people warm

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Jack Elkins delivers many meals to New London residents. While he is inside their homes he does more than just make sure they are getting enough to eat. He makes sure they are keeping warm in this frigid weather.

meals on wheels cold Warming centers and Meals on Wheels drivers keeping people warmElkins is sometimes the only person his clients see each day. So he becomes a sort of a life line for them and on these bitter cold days he makes sure they are staying warm and safe.

“One of the first things I do when I walk in is try to determine the temperature in there,” explains Elkins. “Also look at how many things that they have plugged into the wall. Electric heaters and that nature. How they’re dressed.”

“I got everything I need,” says Retired Cpl. Joseph Chiappone. He is one of Elkins’ clients in New London. If Elkins sees anything wrong he reports it and the family is contacted.nl senior center 2 Warming centers and Meals on Wheels drivers keeping people warm

“I’m very grateful for all the help and assistance, another set of eyes that they provide to make sure my dad is safe,” says Chiappone’s daughter Kathy Brooks.

Andrea Baldi is another client of Elkins. “I just got oil the other day,” she says. Baldi is keeping warm but worries about others.

“I think people who live outside I think they should go to a shelter or something,” says Baldi.nl senior center 3 Warming centers and Meals on Wheels drivers keeping people warm

Police and fire crews are also keeping an eye out for anyone who may need help. The city designated the New London Senior Center as a warming center during regular business hours.

“Whether it’s cold outside or not come on in,” says Karen Paul of New London. “Cause we love to see new people come in and hopefully they’ll stay with us and come back again.”

nl senior center 1 Warming centers and Meals on Wheels drivers keeping people warmAfter hours there are five homeless shelters in the city. Neighbors helping neighbors keep warm.

“It’s very gratifying what I do,” says Elkins.

The TVCCA which runs the Meals on Wheels program has several other programs including energy assistance and Meals on Wheels clients can be referred to that program for help heating their homes if they need it.

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