Many elderly and disabled Americans are isolated by frailty, illness and at this time of year, in the northern states, extreme cold weather. Many also suffer from malnutrition. A non-profit program called Meals on Wheels provides and delivers more than one million meals a day to clients across the United States. For the people who make and deliver those meals, it's a vital service that gives both ways.
在美国,许多老年人和残疾人,因为体弱、多病,以及北方的严寒天气,处于孤立无援的境地,其中很多人营养不良。一个叫作“车轮上的餐饮”的非营利项目每天在全国各地提供100多万份饮食。该组织在佛蒙特州的工作人员说,这项重要的服务对受与双方都有好处。

Bustling kitchen

The commercial kitchen at Fitz Vogt Catering in Rutland, Vermont, is a blur of midmorning activity. A chef is baking 2,000 strips of chicken breast while another employee stirs an oversized pot of stuffing. It's all for the Meals on Wheels program.
佛蒙特州鹿特丹市的费兹沃格特外卖店经办“车轮上的餐饮”。厨房里,一派繁忙景象。一位大厨在烤鸡胸肉,他要烤两千条。另外一名工作人员用一支大锅铲翻炒着锅里的食物。

"Everything is made from scratch here. They cut up the chicken and bread it by hand," says Penny Jones, the administrative coordinator at Meals on Wheels, adding that the kitchen typically prepares about 1,000 meals a day. "They start here at five-thirty in the morning and all the meals are out the door by eleven a.m."
“车轮上的餐饮”项目协调员彭尼·琼斯说,这个厨房通常每天要准备1000份餐点,而且每样东西都是从头做起,比如切肉,裹面粉,等等。他们每天清晨5点30分开始,所有餐点在上午11点之前出门。

The meals are delivered to people all across central Vermont - covering a 160-kilometer radius.
这些餐食要送到佛蒙特州中部半径160公里地区那些需要的人手里。

"It's really important. If you can imagine when you're hungry for lunch and waiting for the person to bring your food," says Jones. "And in the winter, not knowing if they'll be able to get to you or not."
琼斯说:“这非常重要。想想看,你在家里,饥肠辘辘,等着送餐的人,或者是在冬天,你不知道他们能不能到达你这里。”

Meals to go

It takes a large group of paid and volunteer drivers to make sure the food does get through. People like Maryterese Briggs. She's a dietary aide for Meals on Wheels and three days a week, she loads up her 20-year-old Volvo and hits the road.
要保证这些饭菜能按时送达,需要一大批领工资或者义务服务的司机。玛丽特里瑟·布里格斯是“车轮上的餐饮”项目的餐饮助理。每星期三天,她把食物装满她那辆20年旧的老沃尔沃车里,开车上路。

"I like it, I like the people," she says. "Just to see the smile sometimes on the client's faces when you walk in. Sometimes you're the only person they see all day. It just makes you feel good."
布里格斯说:“我喜欢这个工作,我也喜欢我帮助的那些人,只因为我愿意在走进他们住所时,看到他们脸上的微笑。有时候,你是他们整天唯一能见到的人。这会让你感到欣慰。”

Briggs pulls up to a tired looking house to make her first delivery. A water pipe hisses loudly just inside the front door. The door is unlocked. Briggs opens it and bounds up a small flight of stairs to the kitchen where an older gentleman sits waiting. He smiles and gets up slowly to greet her. They exchange a few words and then she's off again to her next stop.
布里格斯将车子停在一栋老旧的房子前面。这是她今天送餐的第一家。门没锁。布里格斯推开门,走进厨房。厨房里有一位老人在等她。老人微笑着慢慢起身,招呼布里格斯。两人交谈了几句后,布里格斯跟老人道别,开车去下一家。

Briggs says sometimes there are tears on the job. "Yes, yes. There's one stop we're going on today and it's just the wife. The husband passed away last Friday. I think it makes you more aware of your own mortality, you know, some day this is going to be me, someday this is going to be you."
布里格斯:“我们今天要去的一家,先生上星期五刚去世,留下妻子一人在家。这种情形让你想到自己的脆弱。有一天它会发生在我身上,有一天会发生在你身上。”

Not just lunch

Briggs turns a corner to head to Leona Kish's house. Kish lost her husband about a year ago. She is a tiny woman, dressed in a bright red sweater. Meals on Wheels provides her with lunch three days a week.
布里格斯在街角拐弯,往利昂娜·基什家驶去。利昂娜的丈夫是大约一年前去世的。利昂娜身材瘦小,穿着鲜红的毛衣。“车轮上的餐食”项目每星期为她提供三顿午餐。

"I love cooking, but now that I'm alone, I don't cook as much," says Kish. "And with my daughter - she wanted me to get Meals on Wheels to make sure I get all the vitamins and benefits I need. But really I enjoy mostly the people coming. I love people and I love to sit down and visit with them. But many of my friends have gone. My little pet here, Rudy, he's such a good companion for me."
利昂娜说:“我喜欢做饭,可是现在我一个人住,就不常做饭了。我女儿希望我参加‘车轮上的餐饮’项目,这样可以保证我能得到所有必要的维生素营养。其实我真正喜欢的还是有人来访。我喜欢有人到这儿来,坐下来和我说说话。我许多朋友都相继去世了,现在只有我的小狗鲁迪和我作伴。”

She offers Briggs homemade rum balls and confides that they're made with an old family recipe and were favorites of her late husband. Then she grows quiet for a moment.
利昂娜送给布里格斯一些自制的小点心,说这是她照着家里一个古老的食谱做的,是她已故丈夫的最爱。她沉默了片刻。

"This used to be my husband's chair and now I occupy this so I can look out the window a little bit and see something," she says. "Listen, I wish all of you a happy new year with the best of health to everybody."
接着说:“这张椅子是我丈夫生前坐的。我坐在这儿,可以看到外面。对了,我祝你们大家新年里都健健康康的。”

Briggs walks back to her car smiling and brushing off a few stray cookie crumbs. Few jobs, she says, can make you feel so appreciated - and so thankful.
布里格斯微笑中走回她的汽车,一面掸掉身上的饼屑。她说,很少工作能让你感到人们这么领情,这么感激你。