This article appeared in the August 2010 issue of Texoma Living!.
by Leslie Cummins
With a growing senior population and a weak economy, help is needed. For three decades Meals on Wheels of Texoma delivers hope to the elderly and those in need.
Senior hunger is on the rise, with the number of at-risk citizens expected to increase 75 percent by 2025. Texas ranks fourth highest in the nation for number of elderly citizens at risk of hunger, with rural areas being slightly more affected than urban. Meals on Wheels confronts these trends that affect the elderly citizens of Texoma.
Founded in 1980, Meals on Wheels of Texoma delivers fresh-cooked lunches to elderly residents at senior citizen centers and, more often, directly to their doors. Clients of the service are recommended by the Department of Aging and Disability Services based on their inability, due to poverty or disability, to cook a meal for themselves. Meals on Wheels delivers more than thirty thousand meals each month from eleven kitchens to twenty-two communities throughout Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson Counties.
Operations Manager Linda Jay creates the weekly menus with special software to assure compliance with federal guidelines, assuring that each meal contains one third of the daily nutritional requirements for adults. Professional cooks prepare the meals and volunteers deliver them.
Federal and state hunger relief programs provide some of the funding the operations, but unlike those programs, Meals on Wheels never puts people on a waiting list. Anyone who qualifies for the program receives meals. Currently, the Texoma program serves more than two hundred meals a day that are not funded by any government entity.
At its heart, Meals on Wheels is a community supported operation. The Grayson County Realtors Association and other local organizations sponsor food drives that bring in tons of food, but without the strong base of dedicated volunteers, the program could not function. “We always need drivers, especially in the summer,” said Director Kathey Scott, and “We can always use money to feed more people.”
Meals on Wheels of Texoma
Serving Cooke, Fannin & Grayson Counties
4114 Airport Dr
Denison, Texas 75020