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Snow Burdens Columbus Volunteers Trying to Help People in Need

COLUMBUS (Mike McCarthy/Kate Liebers) -- The winter weather has become an obstacle not only for those with physical limitations, but also for the volunteers trying to help them.

For Shirley Rammage, breathing is difficult and walking is even more challenging. The snow hasn't been helping.

"I can't get around on the ice and snow and stuff," she said.

Rammage is one of 4,000 people helped by LifeCare Alliance every day. Through that program, Rammage gets a hot meal and, on Friday, an added "blizzard bag." The bag contains extra food in case the extreme weather prevents volunteers from reaching her.

"It means a lot to me because if I didn't have Meals on Wheels, I would go hungry," she said.

Charles Gehring of LifeCare Alliance said volunteers typically miss only one delivery a year in Franklin County. This winter, however, the safety meals have been needed four times already.

"We have really been having a wild winter here trying to get these put together, replenished," he said.

The volunteers are expected to go door-to-door again on Saturday. Organizers asked neighbors to help their efforts by keeping their sidewalks shoveled.

"They have a hard enough time getting up to the home," Gehring said. "If they have to trudge through four to five inches of snow up un-shoveled sidewalks, it makes it dangerous for them."

Rammage said she is grateful for everyone's efforts.
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