Meals-on-Wheels Volunteers: Caring for the Homebound

Image: Ellis County volunteer & client

Ellis County volunteer & client

Volunteers needed in all communities now and into the summer months

Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson & Ellis Counties needs additional volunteers to help get noontime meals delivered to the homebound elderly and disabled residents throughout its service area. “With the growing needs in our communities, we are in need of new volunteers,” said Amy Jackson, director of development.

Currently, Meals-on-Wheels has over 80 delivery routes providing meals in a 1,700 square mile area. Meals-on-Wheels depends on its volunteers to deliver to 22 communities in both counties. “In addition, the end of school is approaching and summer is upon us,” Jackson continued.

Summertime is a critical time of the year for Meals-on-Wheels. With the summer heat, there is an even greater need to check on the homebound disabled and elderly persons in the community. Since summer tends to be a busy time of the year for many with school being out and people being gone on vacation, Meals-on-Wheels needs caring volunteers to help deliver meals during the summer.

“This time of year, it is more important than ever, for dedicated volunteers to be available to check on our seniors daily,” said Tracy Robinson, client services director. The summer heat strikes hardest among the elderly population. In fact, more than half of the nation’s heat related deaths occur in persons 65 years and older. Largely, these type deaths result from elderly persons on fixed incomes turning off fans and air conditioners in fear of high utility bills. Meals-on-Wheels also assists by providing fans during the summer months to those that are in need.

“With daily contact from our volunteers, Meals-on-Wheels helps in preventing possible heat-related deaths from occurring. In some cases, the volunteer might be the only person a senior may see all day,” added Robinson.

Prepared meals are picked up and served Monday through Friday between eleven A.M. and the noon hour, with delivery times taking no longer than one hour. Volunteers are provided with detailed directions and instructions, and help when they can, whether it is weekly, a couple of times a month, or simply on an as needed basis.

“Not only do the volunteers deliver meals to the homebound, the daily contact might save a life,” added Robinson.

If you are interested in volunteering, or if you know of someone who could benefit from Meals-on-Wheels services, please call (817) 558-2840 in Johnson County and (972) 351-9943 in Ellis County, or online at Meals-on-Wheels is a community-based non-profit organization serving the homebound for 33 years.