Why I Volunteer: Mari McNeil

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mari McNeil sang at more than 90 local retirement homes and assisted living facilities over the course of 10 years. As the region adapted to the pandemic, safety precautions required her to find new ways to share her talents and connect with the community. Mari began delivering home-delivered meals with FeedMore WNY in March, bringing nutritious food to homebound and disabled neighbors in Wheatfield and North Tonawanda. Her route brought her to a familiar place – one of the assisted living homes she sang at in prior years.

“While I don’t recognize the specific people, I missed them so much!” Mari said. “It’s been a tough, tough year, and delivering meals fulfills that need of connecting with others.”

Just as she did when she was singing, Mari has built friendships with individuals on her delivery route.

“I’d learn the stories of the residents when I was singing,” Mari said. “I’m doing the same thing with the folks on my route. It’s not that different from being a singer. You are connecting with people. You can provide a meal and ask ‘how are you doing today?’”

Prior to volunteering with FeedMore WNY, Mari shared her talent for singing at our annual volunteer recognition events. Now, as a volunteer herself, Mari delivers meals two days a week, helping to bring food and friendship to homebound neighbors in Niagara County.

about FeedMore WNY

FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its food bank distribution center and partner hunger-relief agencies, as well as its home-delivered meal program and other targeted feeding programs, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.

volunteer with our home-delivered meals program

Our home-delivered meals program serves homebound individuals and those living with disabilities in Erie and Niagara counties. Volunteering for one lunch hour makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.

learn more