Program aims to alleviate hunger and offer hope
In 1980, Kelly Bradley founded Metroport Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit volunteer grass-roots program in Roanoke that serves 20 area communities, including Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake, MMOW Director Mary King said.
It is independent of the Meals on Wheels Association of America, and by choosing not to be federally funded, King said the nonprofit is able to meet every client's need without having to weave through government regulations.
The program primarily reaches out to seniors, but King said it extends services to anyone in need regardless of age or financial circumstances.
MMOW provides advocacy, conversation, home-delivered meals and senior center lunch programs that King said offer hope to clients.
"Isolation is every bit as much a basis of need as hunger or physical limitation," King said. "We look at the big picture of who we're serving."
MMOW has also recently expanded its client service and will now be able to provide pet food with the home deliveries, courtesy of a grant from Banfield Charitable Trust, King said.
King said MMOW benefits from fundraisers such as its annual golf tournament, which celebrated its 23rd year June 9; exclusive proceeds from Sadie's Upscale Resale & Consignment Store in Roanoke; and gifts from civic groups such as the Colleyville Woman's Club.
"This is the most generous community I have ever, ever experienced," she said. "It's the most inspiring and invigorating environment."
Within the communities MMOW serves, King said there are eight senior centers at which it sponsors community luncheons for active seniors who are able to leave their homes to seek fellowship and fun.
While the organization is largely made up of volunteers, King said there are 21 employees that serve part-time or full-time. King has filled the director role for nearly 14 years and said there is a base of 500 volunteers within the nonprofit, half of them serving consistently for more than five years.
MMOW delivers throughout the year and is always in need of volunteers, but King said help for the summer months is greatly appreciated.
Opportunities include making extra deliveries of water, driving delivery trucks and serving at the community centers.
"We can't change environments," she said. "We can bring support, we can bring friendship. It's all about how can we make [life] as good as we can for [the clients]."
Metroport Meals on Wheels
428 N. SH 377, Roanoke, 817-491-1141, www.metroportmow.org
Sadie's Upscale Resale & Consignment
432 N. SH 377, Roanoke, 817-490-0191, www.metroportmow.org/sadies