Texas ranks fourth highest in the number of seniors going to bed hungry. As the population ages, many are forced to choose between purchasing food and purchasing medicine. More than 50 percent of seniors who visit emergency rooms are malnourished. Meals on Wheels works to combat food insecurity and help seniors live independent lives.
Founded in 1973, the non-profit provides nutritious meals, transportation and social connections to homebound seniors. Currently, more than 200 volunteers deliver 300,000 meals along 83 routes throughout the 1,000 square miles of Montgomery County to 800+ seniors each year.
Meals are freshly prepared by a professional chef and are created with seniors’ nutritional needs in mind and are low in salt and fat and high in the vitamins, fiber and protein they need. More than 35 menu items are available, so seniors never eat the same meal twice in a month. A recent menu consisted of cowboy caviar, homemade banana pudding and Mediterranean coleslaw.
In addition to lunches, the non-profit also offers Breakfast Bags filled with non-perishable breakfast foods. Meal Bags provide additional non-perishable food items to stock pantries. AniMeals provide pet food to keep their furry friends fed.
Meals on Wheels strives to be “more than just a meal.” They provide curb-to-curb transportation service to help seniors who can no longer drive get to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores and senior centers. Last year, the service provided more than 17,000 rides to the disabled and seniors, fostering a sense of independence and combating the isolation many feel.
Volunteers don’t drop meals off on doorsteps. They chat with seniors, offer a smile and check on their welfare. They are often the first to notice if a senior needs medical attention.
As many seniors as Montgomery County Meals on Wheels helps, more are added to the waiting list each month. The organization has the infrastructure to serve them, but they are hampered by lack of funds and volunteers.
You can help by donating food and supplies through Dec. 17 at Woodforest. During our Giving Tree initiative, we are collecting donations for seven different charities including Meals on Wheels. Simply look at the list of requested items, purchase one or more and drop off your donation at The Giving Tree that has sprouted at The Palm Information Center, 251 Central Pine Street, in Woodforest. Other charities you can help include Toys for Tots, Journey Home, Montgomery County Women’s Shelter, Operation Pets Alive, Patriots of Texas and Wrapped in Warmth.
Items on the Meals on Wheels list include shelf-stable foods like peanut butter, tuna, oatmeal and soup, as well as bed pads, wipes, adult diapers and pet food.
You can also help by making a monetary donation or volunteering. All donations stay local, and 90 percent of every dollar donated goes directly toward programs and services.
Help give local seniors the gift of independence this year by dropping your donation off at our Giving Tree.