Fort Worth

December 17, 2013

Meals on Wheels was well-prepared for icy weather

The agency gives its clients boxes of nonperishables to make sure everyone is taken care of, even in bad weather.

Sixty-year-old Clara is ready for Mother Nature if she ices Tarrant County streets again.

The grandmother has a box of nonperishables — complete with dried milk, applesauce and cereal — courtesy of Meals on Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County. The box allows her to whip up a meal, even if volunteers can’t make a delivery because of bad weather.

“Oh, I love it,” Clara said, minutes after a hot meal and other food were delivered Tuesday by Mayor Betsy Price, former Mayor Mike Moncrief and singer Hudson Moore.

The delivery came with a bit of holiday caroling as Price, Moncrief and Moore sang Jingle Bells.

“Thank you very much,” Clara said of her personalized delivery.

Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to elderly and disabled people who are unable to cook or have no one at home to provide for their nutritional needs, said Ann-Maree Harrison, capital campaign manager for the nonprofit.

More than 900,000 meals were delivered to homes in Tarrant County from October 2010 to September 2013. The median age of clients is 75, according to the agency.

The recent ice storm forced Meals on Wheels to cancel two consecutive days of deliveries. But the agency kept clients fed by providing boxes of nonperishable food before the storm iced highways and sidewalks.

“All you have to do is look at the recent ice event that we had and just imagine being totally dependent on someone else to be able to have your nutrition,” Moncrief said. “These folks have enough of a difficult time with other challenges in their lives rather than have to worry whether or not they can fill their stomachs.”

The agency’s response during the storm was highlighted Tuesday during a news conference aimed at showing the importance of Meals on Wheels.

“We want them to all have some food they can count on,” Price said.

The event included a tour that showcased workers putting together boxes of nonperishable food. The organization hopes to enlist more volunteers to deliver meals and raise an estimated $12.75 million to help pay for a new facility.

Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County is housed at 320 South Freeway in Fort Worth. The new facility is planned on Texas 121 between Haltom Road and Carson Street in Fort Worth.

“They help all people who need it and do it on private donations. It’s an amazing service,” Price said.

Moore will have a concert Thursday at Ridglea Theater to raise money for Meals on Wheels.

“Fort Worth has been so supportive to me,” Moore said. “We always look for a way to give back. Meals on Wheels has kind of been the silent hero. They help so many people here in town.

“We want to do all we can to call attention to that. They deserve all the attention in the world.”

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