Today's Letters: Meals on wheels needs volunteers

Published May 9, 2007

Meals on Wheels needs county help May 6 letter

The letter writers were absolutely correct in pointing out that Pasco County Elderly Nutrition is in need of volunteers to deliver meals. Volunteers are an essential part of the operation of the Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Program. Our program relies on volunteers like the letter writers every day to help serve our homebound elderly clients. Volunteer drivers make a big difference in the lives of elders whose outside contact is often only made with the driver who brings them a meal.

We wanted to clarify some of the points made in the letter so that others who might be interested in becoming an Elderly Nutrition Program volunteer have some basic information.

Pasco County operates nine dining sites: Port Richey, New Port Richey, Holiday, Hudson, Shady Hills, Land O'Lakes, Zephyrhills, Dade City and Trilby. A person can volunteer at a site located closest to his or her home.

Volunteer drivers are reimbursed for mileage at the state-approved rate of 44.5 cents per mile. Next year that rate will increase to 48.5 cents per mile. We have approximately 400 program volunteers, 25 of whom are home delivery driver volunteers. Volunteers have the option to accept or reject mileage reimbursement. Currently, 21 of our volunteer drivers take advantage of mileage reimbursement.

Every accommodation is made to ensure our volunteer drivers are able to park as close to the dining site as possible to load and unload containers. For a short season at our Hudson dining site, sufficient parking arrangements were overlooked. However, this has been corrected and adequate parking for volunteer drivers is being provided.

We have a set delivery schedule arranged with our food vendor to deliver to our nine dining sites. On average, the food is delivered by noon, though, at times, due to unforeseen circumstances and traffic, the food delivery might arrive a little later.

There is a great need for volunteer drivers in Pasco County. Mileage reimbursement is available to all volunteer drivers as well as ample training.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call our main office at (727) 834-3341 and ask for Jeannette Campbell.

Gabriel D. Papadopoulos, program manager, Pasco County Elderly Nutrition/Meals on Wheels

Day deserved broader coverage

Glad to see that you covered the free comic book day in West Pasco. It's unfortunate that your reporter did not visit the No. 1 comic book store in Pasco County, Yancy Street Comics, 6843 State Road 54, where you would have seen an event that depicts what free comic book day really means.

This store event had more 1.000 people in attendance. It had Star Wars characters greeting fans in the parking lot. It had writers and artists fly in from all across the country to sign and to sketch drawings, free of charge for the fans. Yancy Street Comics passed out more than 5, 000 comic books - not counting the 1, 500 Spider-Man comics they passed out to movie fans on opening day Friday for the Spider-Man 3 movie.

Yancy Street Comics has participated in this event for the past several years. Too bad the reporter chose the store closest to the Pasco Times office -you really don't know what you missed - and neither will your readers.

Brenda Baginskie, Spring Hill

Noise has killed the charm of rural Hudson May 3 letter

Stop the pops, pows, fog horns

The writer can be grateful he lives a quarter-mile from the dreaded blueberry farms of Hudson. Our property is within 30 feet of the nosiest of the farms, which is off New York Avenue in Hudson. We have been forced to listen to the cannon booms, beeps, pops, pows and fog horns erupting from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 11:30 p.m. since the middle of March. Not sure birds are even awake that early and that late.

The noise pollution these farms create is totally unnecessary since there are several other means that can be used to protect their plants and crops.

We get no relief from the many complaints to Code Enforcement (who admitted they have had a large number of complaints) or the Sheriff's Office. We also have received no help from our illustrious elected officials who have refused to help their constituents and hide behind the fact that there are no requirements set in place to prevent the farms' noise pollution.

We have contacted our commissioners numerous times during the past three years begging for help with no relief or any hope of relief. It is time our commissioners take a stand for their constituents and pass an ordinance that would require these farmers to use less offensive means to protect their plants and crops, and if they don't they will be fined severely.

Keep in mind that without an ordinance this noise pollution will repeat itself over and over again, year after year, which is totally unacceptable.

D. Stead, Hudson

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