From the Item Editor: My day at Berks Encore for Celebrity Meals-On-Wheels Day

Editor Shea Singley (middle) with Reading Fightin' Phils players Perci Garner and Jesse Biddle during Meals on Wheels Celebrity Day at Berks Encore-Strausstown.

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be asked if I would be interested in participating in Berks Encore’s Celebrity Meals-On-Wheels Day. Having enjoyed covering events involving our Berks Encore centers and always being open to volunteer, I said “yes.”

The Meals-On-Wheels program is a relatively simple idea that does so much for those who use the program. To many of the participants, it may not even be about the meal but the company that comes with the delivery. Spending time with the volunteers who help prepare and deliver the meals weekly, many even daily, it was obvious that they worked hard and were happy to do so.

My role during the morning preparations was to seal the meals. It was the first time I ever had the chance to use such a machine, named “Oliver,” and I certainly enjoyed it. I also had the chance to speak with Berks Encore-Strausstown’s manager Terry Becker who explained how the program works and the benefits to those involved. The Strausstown location provides meals to more than just the Strausstown area including Hamburg and Bernville. It being my job to cover these areas for the paper every week, I can truly appreciate how big the area is that this center provides meals for. It was also a great opportunity to get to know people in the coverage area that I have not had a chance to meet yet.

I greatly enjoyed getting to talk to the seniors at Berks Encore and learning a new card game. One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing the seniors interact with the Fightin’ Phils’ pitchers Jesse Biddle and Perci Garner. As a big baseball fan, I too was excited to speak with minor league baseball players that have a very bright future from the sounds of it. I could talk baseball for hours and it seemed like just about everyone else felt that way on that day. It was memorable to hear about the daily life of a baseball player, what they do in the down time, some of their game stories and what the job is like when you’re a baseball player.


I am glad that I was asked and accepted the invitation to volunteer for a day with Meals-On-Wheels. This program offers so much to the community and brings all sorts of people together to help. I am looking forward to hopefully helping out more in the future with the program and wanted to add that it was a pleasure speaking with the Berks Encore-Strausstown seniors.

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She can be reached at