When Michelle McMahon started her position as executive director of Span Denton County in 2018, she did so because she felt connected to the nonprofit organization’s mission, particularly the Meals on Wheels component.

“I moved to Texas, and my parents were going to follow behind me, but unfortunately soon after I arrived, my mom passed. They were married 53 years,” McMahon said. “I saw what he was going through—loneliness, financial considerations, depression, health issues, not being able to drive any more, mobility problems. I felt the need to serve people like my dad. It magically happened that within a month of my mom passing I saw an ad [for this job]. I feel very connected to the mission, and that’s what we look for in our leadership, that they feel connected to the mission.”

The overview

Span Denton County was formed in 1974, in 1978, Meals on Wheels Denton County was added as a service the nonprofit provided. In the 2000s, the organization added Senior Paws, which provides free pet foods to seniors. They also added free transportation services for Denton County veterans.

“To enable people to live as fully and independently as possible by providing nutrition, transportation and social services to older people, people with disabilities, veterans and the public,” is the mission statement found on the organization’s website.

The set up

Meals on Wheels Denton County delivers meals to clients Monday through Friday. McMahon explained that there is a qualification process to be added as a client but assures this is an easy process.

“If you want to get on the program, give us a call or write us an email. When you call us, a human will talk to you. That human will guide you through the process. We make an appointment to send out an assessor. They do a very easy assessment.”

Once a person is added to the program, they are connected with one of 13 distribution sites in Denton County and added to a trained volunteer’s route.

Meals on Wheels receives federal funding that comes from area agencies on aging. Meals must meet very stringent federal nutritional requirements, McMahon said.

The inspiration

Meals on Wheels provides both tangible and intangible services.

Volunteers have the same route every week, allowing a relationship to be established.

“A lot of times that is the only human interaction they have that day. It serves so many purposes,” McMahon said. “A lot of seniors might not have family nearby, but you have a caring daughter in another state. It's good for her to know that at least everyday around lunch time somebody has eyes on mom, and if there was a problem they would have gotten a call.”

Lend a hand

McMahon said there are many ways to get involved, such as financial donations and attending fundraising events. She added they are happy to consider all offers of help, such as those they’ve received from local bands performing at events, centerpieces donated for events and crocheted pet clothes.

There is also a need for Meals on Wheels volunteers.

“Our volunteers are some of the most beautiful humans on the planet. They have such a heart for what they do,” McMahon said. “This one hour [a week] pumps them up and makes them feel so great. It gives them that nice shot of serotonin, good feelings. They get addicted to it because ... they know the difference they’re making.”