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"More Than a Meal": Meals on Wheels of Amarillo Seeks Volunteer Delivery Drivers

Photo courtesy of Meals on Wheels of Amarillo

Thanks to Susie Akers, the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Amarillo, for stopping by HPPR's Amarillo Studio and chatting with me on High Plains Morning this week. Her nonprofit is looking for LOCAL VOLUNTEERS to help address the need of Amarillo-area residents experiencing food insecurity.

It's not easy filling the need for those receiving aid from Meals on Wheels of Amarillo, but Susie Akers hopes there are some folks tuned in to HPPR in the Texas Panhandle and Amarillo area that might be willing to pick up a shift with the nonprofit, which is now celebrating 51 years helping homebound residents with food delivery, five days a week.

"We've been serving meals to homebound seniors since 1971, when it was first organized by 12 local churches—and we're in need of volunteer drivers. As a result of generous community support and many benefactors, it has grown into a large organization with its own volunteer board," Akers said. "And we've recently expanded to include pet food delivery and vet care for dogs and cats under the moniker AniMeals."

Volunteers normally take ONE DAY PER WEEK, and the routes take up to 1.5 hours. Pickup for food is at the local hospitals, and routes are grouped by area; there's even an app that'll help you navigate from one place to another. So if you have spare time, please reach out! They have a waiting list right now, and there are residents in need of service.

Click the link at the top of the page to hear our full interview. If you have questions, reach out to Susie Akers, Executive Director, at Meals on Wheels of Amarillo (7550 Outlook Drive). You can call 806-374-1521 or send her an email at susie@amarillomealsonwheels.org. You can also visit their website.

MORE ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS OF AMARILLO (from their press release): Meals on Wheels (MOW) Needs New Volunteers—From the original 14 clients and 25 volunteers in 1971 to now, MOW has grown to serving over 370 daily meals with the help of over 450 volunteers. However, the organization has a long waiting list of qualified needy homebound recipients that cannot be met with its current volunteer list.

MOW would like to respond to this need and is seeking additional volunteer drivers. Many volunteers tag team with a friend, and many businesses share a route among its employees. Most volunteers only deliver one day a week, which takes about 1-1 ½ hours. It isn’t a huge time commitment, and it will be the most rewarding part of your week. Routes never have more than 10 meals, and they are in a concentrated area of Amarillo, so volunteers aren’t driving all over town. MOW trains all volunteers and gives them bags to help carry the meals.

Most recipients relish the brief social interaction with their volunteer, and recipients are always grateful for the meal. MOW provides critical senior care through its meal deliveries, thus allowing seniors to stay in their own home under the watchful eye of caring volunteers.

If you would like more information about volunteering, please contact MOW at (806) 374-1521 or fill out an application at Amarillomealsonwheels.org.

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.