Volunteering with Meals on Wheels and More

Before last week the only context I had for Meals on Wheels was of Marla stealing food trays in Fight Club. Of course not the only reason, but it was definitely time to update that impression, so we signed up to volunteer on a route. If you’re unfamiliar with them, Meals on Wheels and More (their full name) has a main function of delivering food to various homebound people in the community. On the day of, we rolled up to Meals on Wheels HQ around 10:30. They had us fill out some simple paperwork, then watch an informative training video that threw you back to high school movie days (aka best days of school). Afterward, we got to check out the food trays that we’d be using. I was fairly certain I’d botch the distribution job, but they use an easy color-coding system.

Once training finished, we grabbed our coolers (the only thing we had to bring, though I’m pretty sure they had some in case we didn’t pay attention to the email explaining we needed bring two) and went to the pickup area. They have a quick check-in system, then we received a route sheet with a map, addresses, names, the color-coding system for the food, and even notes to help once you got to the house. One cooler held the hot food, and the other the cold. Then we were off.

Our delivery routes were set in east Austin, but they have pickup sites and routes throughout the city. We followed the map to the first house which wasn’t far away from HQ. Then, we got one hot food tray and one cold food bag based on the route sheet. A knock on the door and a friendly greeting, then we were off to the next spot. That’s it. It was very easy and everyone we met was very nice.

We visited around 12 houses on two routes, and it took less than an hour. By the time we were finished, I felt like we were just getting warmed up. We’ll definitely be back to help again.

One of the interesting things to Meals on Wheels and More, is the “and More” part. They also help out clients’ pets, provide minor home repairs, pick up groceries, and other tasks. They’ve done a great job of finding out what the people need and providing services to accommodate. We definitely recommend volunteering with this organization.

And, with the holiday season headed this way, I wanted to find out if there were special programs going on.

Meals on Wheels is looking for help during the week of Thanksgiving (Mon. 23rd to Wed. 26th.) and Thanksgiving Day. As well Christmas Day, and the holiday week surrounding it (21st-23rd and 28th-31st). You can reach out to Denise Jimenez (who we spoke with and received our training from) at djimenez@mealsonwheelsandmore.org.

On December 19th, they have an event called, “Share the Love” as well as other opportunities, a blanket drive, donation drive for specific items, and donations in honor of someone leading up to Share the Love. For more information on those reach out to holiday@mealsonwheelsandmore.org.

Royal Frasier