The Work We Do: Tony White Jr., Meals on Wheels

Hello, I’m Tony White Jr. and I work for the Riverhead Meals on Wheels program at the Riverhead Senior Center. 

All the drivers here work for the senior center. We start our days off doing transport, but then we come in and do Meals on Wheels. We start by packing all the meals with juice, milk and desserts. And the we press all the meals and go out on routes.

We usually do about 30 to 35 houses per route and we do four routes a day, so we do about 120 to 150 meals.

Today we’re on the central-east route, and lot of it is in John Wesley Village. It is a huge community in our town and we service a lot of people in there.

I’ve been doing this for about five years now. My favorite part of the job is basically seeing the people. There’s a lot of really nice people that you meet on the routes. Some don’t see anyone on a daily basis, so sometimes the only person they see all day is us and we get to converse with them, say hi and make sure they’re doing all right.

I actually started out as a residential repair worker for the senior center, where we went out and did minor repairs on seniors’ homes, built handicap ramps and cleaned gutters. I took this position because I wanted to work here full time.

A lot of people don’t even know this program exists. For some people, through word of mouth is the only way they hear about it. People should know we have this great service in Riverhead and many others. The senior center is a great place to come.

On a daily basis we do hot meals here and we do parties once a month, we have bingo and a lot of other activities.

A lot of people don’t take advantage of it because they don’t think it’s for them or are shy about coming and they shouldn’t be.

It’s a great place to come, it really is.

‘The Work We Do’ is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview. See the complete list of previous profiles here.