Community Builder: Midlands man gets hot meals to seniors for 15 years
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Nearly 20 percent of South Carolina's seniors suffer from hunger daily, according to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger.
It's a statistic that Senior Resources works to fight daily with the help of volunteers who work to get food into the hands of those who need it most.
That includes Meals on Wheels volunteers like David Cote, the latest WIS Community Builder award recipient in partnership with Mungo Homes.
Every other Friday at lunchtime, Cote uses his hour break to make sure others are fed. The VP of Human Resources at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina has been making these trips for nearly 15 years.
"You start to forge some pretty deep friendships with these folks when you know that you may very well be the only person they see during the day," Cote said. "That's pretty compelling."
Those on the receiving end of his Meals on Wheels deliveries are thankful for more than the food.
"Oh, he's a gem," said one woman who is on Cote's meal route. "He is a gem. He talks, he delivers and he's very, very nice."
More than 250 meals are served out of the Forest Acres Meals on Wheels distribution point where Cote picks up his meals every day. It's one of three locations in the county, and Senior Resources says they couldn't meet the need without volunteers like David. They also say his dedication goes beyond his route.
"He also served on our board for six years including one year as president," said Pam Dukes, Exec. Director of Senior Resources. "The fact that he's been volunteering for so long just tells everyone what a passionate has for serving seniors in our community."
Those who work with him say that passion extends to all areas of his life.
"He does this with so many other things in his life," said Shawn Skillman with Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. "With his kids, with his church. He's an incredible giving person of his time."
That's why before he started his most recent route, Matt Mungo of Mungo Homes surprised him with the news that he's WIS' latest Community Builder.
"This is yours," said Mungo as he handed Cote a hard hat. "And you'll get $1000 check to the charity of your choice."
Cote said he was humbled. "This isn't for me, this is for the folks that I'll soon be serving!"
And those folks were grateful to hear Cote was honored, and even more grateful that, like every other delivery day, he was right on time.
Cote says his $1,000 donation from the Mungo Foundation will go to Senior Resources.
Just this February, David's company, BCBS of SC, recently held a giving month for Senior Resources- raising more than $10,000.
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