Meals on Wheels in desperate need of volunteers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 2:04pm

Meals on Wheels Ministry announced today that it needs volunteers to meet the needs of the community. “We are truly in dire need of additional help,” said Meals on Wheels President and CEO, Mike Powell. “Every day, we have a number of open routes that are usually covered by volunteer drivers. As our longtime volunteer drivers occasionally retire their routes, we must find new volunteers to help carry on the mission of Meals on Wheels.”

Meals on Wheels Ministry (MOWM) serves hot, fresh made meals to a daily average of around 1300 clients in Tyler alone, and the organization relies heavily on the service of volunteer drivers. “We have 62 daily routes in Tyler,” said Mr. Powell. “The routes have been designed to include between 10-12 stops and only take up to an hour and a half each day. Some of our volunteers are here every day, while others stop in once or twice a month, depending on what their schedules allow.”

Becoming a volunteer is as simple as filling out basic paperwork and participating in a quick, hands on training session during the initial delivery day. “We have streamlined the process of volunteering at Meals on Wheels in order to meet the needs of anyone in the community ranging from a professional who must complete the route over his or her lunch break, to a stay-at-home mom, and also retired individuals who want to remain active and serve their community,” said Mr. Powell. “We make every effort to meet the specific needs of all our volunteers.”

The organization estimates that volunteers account for an approximate $500,000 to $600,000 savings to the organization, funds which are used to feed homebound seniors and disabled individuals across its six county service area. “We must constantly work to ensure that we funnel every available resource to carrying out the mission of this organization. Dollars saved by a volunteer fund meals served to a senior or disabled individual who without our help, would suffer hunger and the pangs of isolation associated with homebound living. We hope that our community will answer this call to serve, and help us ensure that no senior or homebound individuals in our community suffer another day without a meal.”

Meals on Wheels Ministry currently serves over 3,000 seniors and homebound individual in 30 communities across six counties including Gregg, Henderson, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood counties. Meals on Wheels Ministry is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing good nutritious meals, daily contacts, and other support services that enable senior citizens and disabled persons to remain independent and living in their own homes as long as possible. More information on client services, volunteer opportunities and much more may be found online at www.mealsonwheelseasttexas.org.
 

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