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Delivering food with a generous serving of companionship

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Meals on Wheels of Denton County volunteers dish out nutritious meals and friendship to area elderly and disabled citizens five days a week.
Meals on Wheels of Denton County volunteers dish out nutritious meals and friendship to area elderly and disabled citizens five days a week.

Since 1974, SPAN’s (Special Programs for Aging Needs) Meals on Wheels of Denton County has provided nutritionally-balanced, home-delivered meals to homebound elderly and disabled citizens and neighbors of Denton County.

Meals are delivered to the client’s door by trained volunteers from distribution sites throughout the county to help keep food fresh and warm.

“It’s so important that our seniors get that healthy meal and have a daily check-on by a caring volunteer,” said Executive Director Deb Robertson. “Our volunteers are our ‘eyes and ears,’ as they are often the only people our clients see on a daily basis. They check on the well-being of clients and report any changes or concerns to our staff.”

Meals are delivered Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. In 2015, more than 76,500 meals were delivered to more than 500 homebound clients by approximately 200 volunteers.

“Not all our volunteers deliver daily,” said Robertson. “In fact, some serve a couple of days a week, others are every other week and some participate in the monthly Senior Paws Program pet food delivery on a Saturday to homebound clients who can’t afford it; and, might otherwise share their home-delivered meals with their pets.”

Pet food needs for approximately 50 clients include both regular and senior options for cats or dogs, as well as kitty litter; other pet-related items (such as pet safety, comfort and health-related, as listed below) are also appreciated.

“We appreciate the support of our clients and friends who have generously donated pet food over the years,” said Green Meadows Landscaping owner Kronda Thimesch, who hosts a drop off location for donations. “One of our young clients asked her birthday guests to donate pet food for Senior Paws in lieu of birthday gifts.”

Drop-off locations are: Foot Solutions, 2321 Justin Rd. #205, Flower Mound; Home Care Assistance, 2700 FM 407, Suite 125, Highland Village; Batteries Plus Bulbs, 1093 W. Main St., Lewisville; and, Green Meadows Landscaping, 724 Holford’s Prairie Rd., Lewisville

Another Meals on Wheels option is congregate meals, which are provided daily in group-settings at six senior centers throughout Denton County. Last year, an additional 13,200 meals were served.

Seniors—60-years of age or older– and their spouses, regardless of age, are eligible to participate in this program. Meals are provided without charge to those age 60 and older however, donations are appreciated.  Those under 60-years of age, who would like to enjoy lunch, will be charged $5.

Diners are encouraged to sign up for a meal by noon at least the day before, so that a meal can be ordered; however, people may sign-up a week in advance.

The nearest congregate facility is the Lewisville Senior Center at 1950 S. Valley Parkway.

“It’s so important for seniors to get some social interaction, so they don’t become isolated,” said Robertson. “The meals are served around 11:30 a.m. to guarantee their freshness and temperature.”

She added that the senior population is growing at an unprecedented rate and Meals and Wheels is an important tool to keep people in their homes and out of nursing homes, which can be so expensive.

“Our most urgent need is always donations for our home delivery program,” said Robertson. “We have greatly expanded our programs within the last two years.”

For information about the Meals on Wheels of Denton County program, visit: www.mowdc.org or contact them at 940-382-2224.

In addition, more volunteers to serve new clients are needed. Anyone interested in volunteering, should call Kristine Herrera, Volunteer Coordinator, at 940-382-2224, ext. 2.

SPAN Denton County (www.spandentoncounty.org) is a public transportation provider offering demand response (by appointment), shared ride transportation to those living outside the DCTA service area in Denton County.

“All of our vehicles are wheelchair accessible and driven by staff trained to help address mobility challenges,” said Robertson. “We also provide transportation for Denton County veterans to and from the VA Hospital in Dallas Monday through Friday.”

For more information and to schedule transportation, call 940-382-1900.

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About The Author

Lyn Rejahl Pry

Mark Smith is the Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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