Meals on Wheels Needs Area Volunteers

Lead Staff Reporter

Meals on Wheels is an institution in life to many but to many others, it is a necessity for life. In Sweetwater alone, there are twelve routes. There is also one in Roscoe. At the present date, there are only twenty-two drivers for sixty routes a week. This leaves thirty-eight routes that are unattended with no one to deliver. Instead of doing their administrative work, this leaves the Meals on Wheels office staff to try take over routes, sometimes two and three routes a day.
When the staff cannot cover these routes, they rely heavily on City employees who are themselves being taken away from their intended jobs to help deliver the meals to those in need.
There is a dire need throughout the city to interest people in volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program. The entire delivery process takes less than an hour of one’s time. It is also a personally rewarding way in which to make new friends and to bring nutrition and independence to our neighbors.
Volunteering for Meals on Wheels is a constructive way to make a huge impact in a small amount of time. By delivering meals one can bring nutritious food and a friendly visit to eight to 10 seniors and people with disabilities in our community.
The need to feed the hungry is not just in Sweetwater but all over the state and nation. According to the Meals on Wheels’ website, 20 percent of all seniors in Texas are at risk of hunger, the sixth highest rate of senior hunger in the nation (Source: The State of Senior Hunger in America 2012). Almost 40 percent of Meals on Wheels recipients report needing assistance with one or more of the activities of normal daily living compared with only 6 percent of the total US population, making them more at risk for institutionalization (Source: United States Administration on Aging).Nearly 1,050 Texans turn 65 every day... almost 383,000 each year (Source: American Community Survey).

Anyone can deliver meals, and it’s a great volunteer opportunity for families and teams of employees, as well. You can call Meals on Wheels or sign up on their website: