Sukanya volunteers for Meals on Wheels as an extension of her work as a nurse
One of those dedicated Wilder volunteers is Sukanya Sathiamoorthi, who serves as a Meals on Wheels substitute driver. Sukanya lives in Saint Paul and works as a nurse at Regions Hospital.
In any given week, during a one-hour shift, Sukanya delivers meals in downtown or other neighborhoods to people with limited mobility or restrictive health issues. These folks might not be able to put food on their tables otherwise.
The service is more than just a matter of food delivery for Sukanya. It’s an extension of her work. She says it’s nice to meet others, and when she delivers meals, it also gives her an insight into the environments that recipients, some who could be her patients, face after they are discharged and go home.
“I remember this one time I delivered in an apartment building where the elevators were down, and it sounds like they’d been down for a while. I had to walk up to the 13th floor.” In fact, she recalls there were two buildings in that condition. She said that last part with a whew and a chuckle, only to then acknowledge what that meant for the recipients.
“That’s really hard for the people that don’t have good mobility,” she says. “They can’t even leave to go outside.”
Sukanya says that makes her realize that what she is doing is important in making sure recipients have consistent access to food.
As an on-call driver, Sukanya helps keep Meals on Wheels steady and predictable for recipients
Nor does Sukanya necessarily limit herself to just one, one-hour shift a week. If she’s needed and her schedule allows, she will do more. One time she made deliveries three times in the same week.
“I was feeling very adventurous I guess,” she laughs. But she adds, “It’s only an hour in the mornings, and I always tell Karyn (Wilder Meals on Wheels staff) that it gets me up early.”
Wilder Meals on Wheels Program Supervisor Christine Miller appreciates Sukanya’s commitment.
“Her willingness to help ‘fill the gaps’ as a substitute driver is a crucial aspect of keeping our services steady and predictable,” Christine says. “We also find ourselves calling on our substitute volunteers when we need help sending out extra meals around the holidays. Sukanya has really helped us out of a number of pinches.”