AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A very common struggle for aging residents in our community is the ability to stay in their own home and live independently.
For many, help is delivered to them daily as we see in this week’s Good News With Doppler Dave.
Boy, it got cold today across the area and we all know what it is like to try and stay warm. But think about trying to stay warm, being lonely, and hungry. Meals on Wheels feeds a growing portion of our population that otherwise may tend to slip through the cracks.
“We look after people, we check on people, but this is a very vulnerable population and kind of a forgotten population because they don’t hardly get out and about,” explained Susie Akers, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels. “It’s the ones that are disabled and blind, and can’t drive--those are the people that we take care of”.
Meals are prepared at our local hospitals and then distributed to the homes of the elderly by a throng of volunteers. More than 200 meals were delivered just today and the need is growing.
Susie said, “The increase from 2017 to 2018, we served almost 7,500 more meals in 2018 than we did in 2017. I expect it to keep growing. We know Baby-Boomers are retiring in record numbers and I expect that we will just get busier and busier and there will be more and more people that need our help.”
Much more than just a food delivery service, interactions with volunteers, for some, sadly may be their only contact with other human beings.
Volunteer Lota Taylor shared her sentiments saying, “I get emotional because it’s such a blessing to your life to give cheer to a lot of people that it’s their only social contact for the day. They are vulnerable, they can not prepare meals adequately for themselves and it is truly vital to our community.”
Susie added, “A huge number of our clients have no family at all to help take care of them and if we were not going by and checking on them no one would.”
With the growing need to care for the elderly, Meals on Wheels needs help.
“We always need volunteers!” Susie declared. “We run a very lean staff.”
Lota expressed, “If you love people and enjoy visiting with home-bound elderly and giving them some joy and encouragement, this is for you.”
Along with daily food, Meals on Wheels delivers compassion, some good cheer, and a little love.
Fern, a Meals on Wheels recipient, told me, “Meals on Wheels is great. Great people. They are kind of ornery, but that’s okay.”
For the recipients of Meals on Wheels, when that doorbell rings, it’s good news!