SAN ANGELO, Texas – Meals for the Elderly is dedicated to serving warm and nutritious meals to the homebound and disabled elderly in Tom Green County. This non-profit does more than just serve a meal, they also ensure their personal well being through individualized home visits.
“We send out blankets, we send out heaters, we send out Ensure, the nutritional drink, we send out Depends and other supplies,” said Jessica Behringer, Director of Marketing and Development at Meals for the Elderly.
In the state of Texas, food insecurity effects the elderly population at about 18 percent.
“For our seniors, our children or anyone here in town, we can see that it effects thousands of people just in our county alone. Those people could be your neighbors and you would never know it,” adds Dason Tucker, Executive Director of Meals for the Elderly.
To combat those numbers, Behringer showed us how they build their meal boxes for their recipients.
“We have four warming trays so as they make the food they go in these trays. Then we put the tray in the machine and runs through and seals it. That way at the end of it, they are getting a sealed fresh nutritional meal,” said Behringer.
The non-profit even has dieticians that come in from Texas Tech to help the kitchen plan meals that can be consumed by more than 600 people a day. The elderly can become disconnected to the community for many reasons and getting the help they need makes it that much harder.
“Many of our recipients don’t have any family here in town. They have no other form of connection and our volunteers tell us a lot of times that they are the only person they might see that entire day,” said Tucker.
On some days, Behringer delivers a few routes to see those in the community. She tells us of a time when she connected with a recipient.
“I remember delivering a route and one of our recipients had just lost her husband and you know I spent 15 minutes on her porch just talking to her and just trying to be there for her,” said Behringer.
Meals for the Elderly does take donations whether monetized or an item, but the most helpful is people giving their time.
“Volunteering your time, if you cant give monetarily, we’re asking people who can maybe come in on their lunch break and just deliver a route,” said Behringer.
In addition to a hot meal, this organization strives to bring peace to families as a caring volunteer checks on their loved ones, just a small part of their mission to keep the elderly community connected.