ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Recent state legislation will no longer allow volunteers to deliver food in the South Georgia Meals on Wheels Program.
A new state law says anyone going into the home or working with seniors will have to undergo a comprehensive criminal background check.
So the 300 volunteers who delivered meals to seniors or shut-ins are being replaced by professionals.
"It is to keep them safe and make sure that we are protecting the most vulnerable individuals of our community," said Associate Director Izzie Sadler.
With this recent change, the council said it would cost them thousands of dollars giving every single volunteer a background check.
So, the SOWEGA Council on Aging contracted a third party, Middle Flint, to prepare and deliver the meals.
And when volunteers heard the news, many said they were still eager to serve.
"Very interested to see what I can plug into going forward," said volunteer Lisa Lassiter.
Lassiter said although she can't deliver meals to her seniors, she will still foster those relationships she's made over the years.
"I will be swinging by their homes on special occasions and to check in on them," said Lassiter.
The SOWEGA Council on Aging in Albany said it has pushed back the staffing change as long as possible but it now has to be compliant with the law.
This change will go into effect beginning June 1.