Saturday, October 31, 2020

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Metroport Meals On Wheels Celebrates 35 Years of Providing Meals to Seniors in Need

Known in the community for helping seniors in need, Metroport Meals On Wheels (MMOW) is a nonprofit organization that serves the elderly through home-delivered meals, senior center lunches, activity programs and other support services. With the motto of “neighbors helping neighbors,” the Roanoke-based organization works to alleviate hunger and isolation in Denton, Tarrant, and Wise Counties.

This year marks the organization’s 35th year of community support. Started in 1980 by Kelly Bradley and her friends in response to a recognized need, the organization quickly grew in both the number of volunteers and the number of seniors served, eventually falling under the Metroport banner in 1992. Today, the nonprofit has grown into a well-respected brand that has provided over 1.2 million meals to seniors in need.

Rather than relying on state and federal programs, the organization relies on community support, giving the nonprofit greater flexibility in serving a wider population. Participants of MMOW do not have to meet age requirements or financial guidelines. In order to be eligible, individuals need only be in one of the geographical areas of service and are either unable to consistently cook for themselves or are isolated due to physical limitations.

Southlake is one of the fortunate communities served by the nonprofit. Volunteers of the organization deliver hot lunches daily and personally visit the homes of eight chronically ill, isolated, or disabled seniors in Southlake. MMOW also provides nourishing meals and exciting activities to Southlake seniors every Tuesday at the Senior Activity Center.

“We provide food for the luncheons, and through a partnership with the Southlake National Charity League, our combined volunteers ensure that every senior who attends the weekly luncheons is served a wholesome, hot meal, and has an opportunity to enjoy socializing with the other guests,” states Julie Preston, the client services director for Metroport Meals On Wheels, noting the luncheons will soon change days to Mondays. “We’re planning a huge party for our first Monday luncheon on December 14 and a special holiday luncheon on Monday, December 21.”

Southlake is one of more than ten communities that benefit from MMOW luncheons and attendance ranges from 30 to 150+ seniors per luncheon. In support of the nonprofit’s impact on the Southlake senior community, the Southlake Teen Court provides Ensure and Boost nutritional supplements to the organization, which in turn distributes the nutritional supplements to participants at no cost.

MMOW also serves the needs of seniors through additional programs. The organization makes a special effort to ensure that homebound seniors are not forgotten during the winter season. “Stocking Tree” provides wrapped gifts for home meal recipients just before Christmas. Stockings and packages are filled with specifically requested items, clothing and candy.

“The Stocking Tree program is very popular with volunteers and recipients. All of the stockings have already been claimed this year and the corresponding presents will be delivered to each and every home-delivered meal recipient of Metroport Meals On Wheels during the month of December.”

Through a partnership with Metroport Rotary Club, MMOW also delivers shelf-stable winter meals to seniors in the event that inclement weather prevents regular meal deliveries. Additionally, monthly food and household supplies are delivered to seniors through the Staples for Seniors program. MMOW even supports pet ownership among seniors through assisting with veterinary costs as part of MMOW’s Pet Patrol.

Currently, the nonprofit is collecting Christmas Wish List items—everything ranging from shelf-stable food to gift cards and puzzles. Although specifically requested items through “Stocking Tree” have already been filled, contributions of general items may still be donated now through Christmas. You can brighten the holidays for area seniors this season through donations of your time or items. Contact Metroport Meals on Wheels at (817) 491-1141 or visit www.metroportmow.org for additional information.