Meals on Wheels sees increasing need for help

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Meals on Wheels said it has seen an increased need for their services closer to the holidays.

“This time of year, we always get more clients,” said Mary Gerlach, assistant director of Lubbock Meals on Wheels. “I think families see, maybe come to visit that kind of thing and see that their loved ones need more help.”

Gerlach said the organization has served more than 700 meals a day and has helped people ranging in age from 21 to 105. Gerlach said the majority of those receiving help are over age 65.

Gerlach said with the increasing numbers, they are always looking for volunteers to help deliver meals.

“It’s a short form that [those wanting to volunteer will] fill out,” said Gerlach. “The routes take about an hour on average, so it can be worked into a lot of people’s schedules when they know that we’re not meeting commitment for a long-term period of time.”

Abigail Tiemean, a volunteer with Lubbock Meals on Wheels, has been volunteering since the summer with her daughter and said it was something she felt needed to be done.

“Just to share a few words, some encouraging words [with people] and just let them know that they are not forgotten,” said Tiemean, “and that there’s help out there, especially in Lubbock.”

Tiemean also said Lubbock is a great community of volunteers, especially with Meals on Wheels.

“For me, on Mondays and Thursdays when I get to do it, it just brightens my day,” said Tiemean.

Joanne Stephens said she never imagined how Meals on Wheels would be like.

“I expected the worst. I have seen hospital meals, I have eaten hospital meals, and that’s sort of what I expected, but that’s not what Meals on Wheels is all about,” said Stephens. “The food is well prepared [and] it’s very ample.”

Stephens said the best part of the weekly visits is being able to visit and connect with volunteers.

That’s what makes it for me. They stop [and] they talk [to me]. We joke around, said Stephens. “They care, and they’re not here, ‘here’s your meal.'”

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