Volunteering gives me a strong connection to my community and an incredible sense of gratitude.
For more than 20 years, Manju Karkare has been working towards improving the health of her Wake County, North Carolina neighbors as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Manju owns a private nutrition practice that specializes in one-on-one nutrition coaching and group counseling. Her work makes her acutely aware of the importance of nutrition in not only the wellbeing and health of her patients, but also in their outcome of learning, socioeconomic standing and and their ability to avoid or significantly delay chronic diseases. Her commitment to her community’s overall wellness has led Manju volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Wake County and Inter Faith Food Shuttle.
“For the past decade, I’ve been delivering meals weekly to homebound seniors, and also teach multiple nutrition education classes in low income communities in several counties.” Says Manju. “Volunteering has always been a part of my family’s value system. My parents, both health care professionals, volunteered regularly while I was growing up. I feel it is the right thing to do.”
Meals on Wheels of Wake County serves a hot, nutritious meal to homebound and disabled adults and seniors five days a week. The organization has been serving meals in Wake County for 43 years and has served over 9 million meals total. It depends on more than 2,000 volunteers to help deliver 1,300 meals a day through multiple pick up sites as well as five congregate dining sites.
Volunteering gives Manju a strong connection to her community and an incredible sense of gratitude. “When I deliver meals, I am really delivering a lot more than just food,” says Manju. “I am their connections to the outside world, a smiling face, someone checking in on these homebound seniors. Every single one of them is extremely grateful and expresses it. By the time I finish my route, I am filled with a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Building this connection with the community also helps me to get to know the issues facing my community first hand, and helps me become a better citizen advocate for those in need.”
When Manju isn’t volunteering, she likes to travel, hike, knit/crochet, cook, bake, entertain and spend time with friends and family. Her favorite Cabot cheese is Pepper Jack.
This will be Manju’s first Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise, and she will be accompanied by her husband Jayant Khadilkar.