LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Social distancing changed the way Meals on Wheels delivery drivers interacted with their clients.
"I tell everybody, 'I have a lot of moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas," said Shamika Clements, a Meals on Wheels delivery driver.
Clements has been a driver for two years.
"I have 375 of them that I see every week," Clements said. "I think of them like family. They're not just my clients."
Clements said she's the only person many of her clients get to see.
'"A lot of them, their siblings have passed on," Clements said. "Their children are too far away. Their grandkids don't visit.
When the pandemic hit, social distancing forced her to make changes. Because many of her clients are high risk, she wasn't allowed to see them anymore.
"A lot of them didn't understand," Clements said. "They said, 'You're my friend. You're here every week. I know you. I trust you.'"
Phone calls took the place of sit-down conversations. Food is now usually left on the porch. But there are some exceptions, including Veronica Galati.
"This is a blessing," Galati said. "We're like soul sisters."
Galati is legally blind and because of her condition, Clements can come in and put the food away. Galati said she's grateful for the human contact after she was hit hard by the stay at home orders.
"I started to feel lethargic. And I didn't understand it," Galati said. "Even though I can't see and move about as well, my thoughts are always going. I'm always thinking."
While things are different, Clements said she's grateful to work such a rewarding job, especially during the holiday season which can be very lonely for seniors.
"You try to talk to them and try to comfort them and say things are going to get better,' Clements said. "When, in reality, I don't even know if they're going to get better. But I still have to be that smiling face for them."