It is safe to say that everyone’s life has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For some of us, it means a new at-home, online working environment or waiting out a layoff. For others, the pandemic has brought on challenges to even the most basic and necessary aspects of life, like access to a warm meal.
Babe’s on Plum in downtown Havana is taking on that challenge with the help of local volunteers. In the last 3 weeks, Babe’s has been providing free hot meals to seniors in the community. Over 500 meals have been delivered by volunteers already. These efforts have been supported by private donations as well.
“This could not continue without the support of our community. Every individual , group, or business that has donated is making a difference in the lives of our community members! There have been many heartfelt “thank you” sent by the ones receiving the meals. We’ve gotten phone calls and hand written notes, expressing how much this means to the Seniors.”– Babe’s on Plum owner, Kelli Schaeffer
Babe’s, run by Todd and Kelli Schaeffer, is a local and regional favorite. With the onset of the pandemic, Kelli decided to reach out on Facebook wondering if there were seniors in the community who were not getting adequate nutrition or an occasional hot meal. The response was immediate, with many stating they felt there was a need. The program is designed to cover the days that Meals on Wheels does not deliver. After a single Facebook post calling for volunteers to deliver and for financial contributions to help support the program, community response has been overwhelming.
“From the standpoint of a volunteer, it is very heartening to see the expressions of gratitude from the people receiving a meal. It is about more than just having something to eat—it is them knowing that people in their town cared enough to think of them, and having someone stop by with a kind word means the world to them. This is why we love living in our small towns.”Bill Blessman, Mason County Administrator
In these increasingly difficult times, it is even more encouraging to see the resilient and compassionate spirit of our community in action and making a difference.
If you are a senior or you know someone who could benefit from this meal program, please contact Babe’s on Facebook or call 543-9029. They provide noon meals on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Efforts like this are happening all over our region, including Rumberger’s in Peoria delivering lunch to 500 students.