Meals on Wheels serves up some holiday cheer
Subaru’s 10th annual Share the Love Event will help deliver nutritious meals and compassion to Johnson County seniors. From Nov. 16, 2017, to Jan. 2, 2018, Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru sold or leased to the customer’s choice of a participating charity.
“They challenge the local Meals on Wheels programs to reach out to local Subaru dealerships and we have done that for the past four or five years. In that, we have done collaborations where they come down to Burleosn to serve meals,” Meals on Wheels Executive Director Christine Hockin-Boyd said.
One local Subaru dealership has teamed up with Meals on Wheels.
“Hiley Subaru is our local dealership and they have joined us to deliver meals to our Burleson clients,” Lisa Deese, Community Engagement Specialist, said.
Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties serves about 300 clients in Johnson County on any given day, Hockin-Boyd said.
“We get to provide that home-delivered meal, but we also get to provide a safety check,” said Hockin-Boyd. “That safety check gives us an opportunity to use our eyes and ears to do a physical check to make sure they are OK and to put a smile on their face by our presence and that meal delivery. That is a pretty amazing thing to let them know that there are people who care about them and love them.”
Any person is eligible for Meals on Wheels, regardless of age or income level. If there is a need for a nutritious meal to be served, Meals on Wheels will do it- as long as they meet eligibility.
“Our organization is not based on income level, it is based on need,” Hockin-Boyd said. “For example, lets say you have a family member and maybe they have recently had a stroke or a surgery, some type of unique situation going on in their life - that is where we come in. We get the opportunity to support them with that daily check along with that daily meal. It can be for three weeks, six months or forevermore. People come on and off onfour serving depending on their need.”
Meals on Wheels is especially beneficial during the holiday season. Many local residents, especially seniors, do not have a family member who lives nearby.
“Just as much as it is important all year round, it is really hard because the priority is all year long, and during the holidays what it does for us is to bring heightened awareness for our seniors,” Hockin-Boyd said. Deese echoed that concern.
“Amazingly, as Thanksgiving comes around the corner, several of our seniors don’t have any family that live close by,” Deese said. “Or, some have even out-lived their adult children. They don’t have anybody that is going to share Thanksgiving with them. A surprisingly large number of seniors experience this during the holidays.”
Meals on Wheels is more than the opportunity to feed someone in need, Hockin-Boyd said. It’s about making a connection with someone and being the bright spot in their day.
“When I first started, one thing I heard our volunteers say so much was that the meal is just a part of the touch that we provide with Meals on Wheels,” said Hockin-Boyd. “The phrase they used quite often was ‘It’s more than a meal, it’s just part of it.’”
Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties is currently seeking donations for senior pantry packages. These shelf-stable donations are used to make packaged meals for clients to have on hand in the event of a severe weather event.
The most needed items are mac and cheese microwavable cups (2.05 oz.), ravioli microwavable cups (7 oz.), beef stew microwavable cups (7 oz.), chili mac microwavable cups (7 oz.), tuna with pull top lid (3 oz.), chicken with pull top lid (4 oz.), cereal bars or other granola bars, individual bag of nuts (1 oz.), two-pack saltine crackers, fruit cup in natural juices (1/2 cup), unsweetened applesauce cups (3.9 oz.), 100 percent juice boxes (4 oz.-6.7 oz.), low-fat shelf-stable milk boxes (8 oz.), individual boxes of raisins (1.5 oz.) peanut butter cups (1.5 oz.).
Donations can be dropped off at the Johnson County office, located at 106 E. Kilpatrick Street, in Cleaburne.