Volunteer Guidelines

Thank you to our current volunteers!


  • ….trying to let each recipient know you have delivered their meals by calling or speaking to them.
  • ….attempting to find your own sub by swap/covering with drivers who deliver your route on a different day, and letting us know if you cannot find a substitute driver! 
  • ….leaving a door hanger note for recipients who are not home for delivery.
  • ….signing your route sheet each week and noting how many meals you delivered.
  • ….remembering that meals may not be left in a cooler that does not have a frozen ice pack or ice.
  • ….letting us know when you have more involved concerns about certain clients.
  • ….letting us know if you returned any undelivered meals to MOW via route sheet and communication with MOW staff. 
  • ….calling Adult Protective Services (828-452-6620) and MOW Staff members (828-356-2442) when abuse or neglect is suspected.  
  • ….checking your folder & delivering any informational handouts such as menu to the client.
  • ….notifying MOW staff about any volunteer absences via route sheet, text, email, and/or voicemail.
  • ….trying to offer any undelivered meals to other recipients—noting who received extra on route sheet.
  • ....bringing a positive attitude when you volunteer!

Setting Boundaries with Recipients

It’s important to set boundaries and have clear examples.  Below you will find a helpful list of tips:

  • Please do not solicit clients for business purposes; please also refrain from accepting gifts from MOW clients.
  • If a client offers a contribution for their meals, politely decline and ask the client to mail the donation to MOW or call the office for help.
  • If a client mentions being low on money or behind on bills and asks you for money, please alert MOW staff rather than giving money directly to the client; our case management team will follow up to best address the client’s needs. We have access to various community resources to assist those clients who may need more than just meals.
  • If you encounter a situation that is uncomfortable or alarming, please alert MOW staff so that we may connect the client to the appropriate team at HHSA.
  • If a client repeatedly asks you to run errands or perform extra tasks when you arrive, you are not obligated in any way to volunteer any services beyond their meal delivery. If you are concerned a client needs more than you are able to give, please report this to the MOW office, and we will follow up on these concerns.
  • Please don’t offer legal, medical, or financial advice to our clients; if you come across a client in need of this type of assistance, please alert MOW staff for follow up.
  • Please avoid giving our clients extra food or sweets due to the wide variety of dietary restriction of our clients.
  • You should only provide services or perform tasks as outlined in your volunteer duties description.

If these sound like guidelines that you would be willing to uphold, or if you would like to discuss any details of volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Haywood County, please reach out to Cheryl McCracken at (828) 356-2455. 

Closings & Deliveries

Throughout the year, MOW observes various federal holidays. We are aware of them well in advance, and strive to ensure all of our recipients and volunteers are aware as well. To view the scheduled closings during 2023, click here! 

On a rare occasion, we must cancel meal delivery to ensure the safety of our volunteers due to dangerous road conditions.  If Haywood County Schools closes due to weather, we will not deliver that day.  If Haywood County Schools have a weather delay, we try to deliver meals.  We will inform volunteers and recipients via automated calls and/or voicemail updates regarding unexpected weather closings.  There may be instances in which we cannot deliver specific routes due to weather, road condition, and volunteer comfortability. 

Listen to WLOS Channel 13 for school closings to stay informed.  In the event that weather conditions cause us to cancel delivery, we will make every effort to contact each client and volunteer.

Because we know unexpected weather will happen each year, we provide shelf stable meals to all recipients, typically in November. We advise that recipients save these shelf stable meals for these types of closings, and encourage volunteers to remind them to eat these meals prior to the spring.