The Riverside metropolitan area’s only Meals on Wheels delivery service for homebound seniors is in dire need of volunteers following a loss of helpers, who ensured dozens of deliveries reached recipients in Corona and neighboring locations, officials said Friday.

Riverside Meals on Wheels President Judy Teunissen said eight people who had been committed to the service left in the last week for unexplained reasons.

“We have a robust team of volunteers, and Riverside Meals on Wheels thrives because of these dedicated people,” Teunissen said. “Similar to other nonprofit organizations, we’ll lose a volunteer here and there, but to lose eight in such a short period is unique.”

She said the departures have left a gap that could delay or disrupt deliveries on which more than 100 seniors depend. The Corona area is the foremost concern.

According to Teunissen, only two-part time employees work for Riverside Meals on Wheels, and the organization otherwise relies on about 140 volunteers to deliver food plates to homes in Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco and Riverside.

Volunteers use their own vehicles for deliveries and require only one orientation ride before they’re ready to go, according to the nonprofit.

A total of 14 routes are covered by the service, which last year entailed volunteers covering an aggregate 110,300 miles, Teunissen said.

“Our operating costs are very minimal thanks to the amazing volunteers that donate their time for the routes,” she said.

Anyone interested in volunteering their time was urged to contact volunteer coordinator Allison Glover at 951-683-7151.

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