"Food is a way to reach out to people in love, especially in the south."
For Maureen Wilcox, a casserole can be worth a thousand words. Wilcox is the volunteer coordinator at Heart of Georgia Hospice in Warner Robins. She oversees its Casserole Ministry, which she says is making a difference for families with a sick loved one or those dealing with a loss.
"By providing food to a family, especially a family that's going through a hard time, it provides them an additional element of support. It makes them feel like somebody is there for them," said Wilcox.
Gene Saunders works as chaplin for Heart of Georgia Hospice. He says some of the families they serve depend on their casserole ministry.
"You go in and there's really not a lot of food. There's people showing up but not a lot of food and immediately they feel like that's one thing they don't have to think about because after you lose someone, there are about a thousand things that need to be done," said Saunders.
The ministry is driven by volunteers. They prepare casseroles and deliver them to families throughout Central Georgia.
Ann Strickland of Bonaire says Heart of Georgia Hospice was there when she and her family needed them most. She now volunteers to help out with their ministry.
"I'm all for it because of Hospice and how great they are working with the families and if it had not been for Hospice, we would have really had a hard time with daddy's illness because he was down for five years. Even though this wasn't going on when daddy was living, it's here for those other ones now and anything we can do to help them, I'm all for it," said Strickland.
Wilcox says she hopes to get more people like Stickland on board.
"We still need volunteers that can step forward and deliver those casseroles as well, because the larger this ministry grows, the more people we'll need and it has been such a blessing," said Wilcox.
She says the ministry started about a year ago. They currently have around 40 volunteers who prepare and deliver casseroles.
For more information you can call Heart of Georgia Hospice at 478-953-5161.