HTH: Meals on Wheels need help to continue its mission another 50 years

Helping the Helpers

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For more than 50 years The Kitchen has been providing meals to seniors in our community.

Last year almost 300,000 meals were delivered to homebound and disabled clients in Wichita Falls.

We learn now how the pandemic impacted their mission.

Meals on Wheels volunteer Tim Short said after serving clients for the past eight years the people on his route are much more than just names on a list or map.

“They just become like family, you learn about them you learn about their families, their lives, you just kind of become a part of it,” Short said.

Each day homebound and disabled individuals are greeted by a volunteer like short bringing shelf-stable items and a hot meal.

Each meal contains one-third of the nutritional guidelines for seniors 60 and older as required by the federal government.

“The Meals on Wheels and the kitchen is just an invaluable resource for the community because I just don’t think there is another way this particular thing happens,” Short said. “These people are so wonderful and they take such good care of their clients.”

The Kitchen CEO Jackie Hamm said they are grateful for the community’s support all these years, especially during this pandemic that is so hard on both clients and volunteers.

“The community has been wonderful to us during this pandemic, we’ve tried to reach out and our services have increased about 36% [and] we’re constantly adding new clients,” Hamm said.

Hamm said they are always in need of volunteers, especially with the pandemic, since many of them are older individuals who aren’t getting out because of the virus.

However the biggest need right now is monetary donations.

Short said he sees this first-hand.

“Even during the pandemic they’ve taken on more and more customers and more and more clients that need the help and need the food and I don’t believe that anybody gets turned away and there is only so much money,” Short said.

It’s not just delivering a daily hot meal that Short and Hamm want to continue, it’s also all the extras they do all year round.

“On Valentine’s day we delivered Valentine’s, we delivered Easter eggs, we delivered blankets in the winter, we have a huge blanket drive [and] during the pandemic we delivered emergency care boxes to all of our clients,” Hamm said.

And with Texomans’ help their mission could continue for another 50 years.

Find out how you can volunteer or donate here.

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