WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - If you're 60 or over or disabled and without transportation - The Grocery Cart program in Wichita Falls may be just for you.
"We go out, pick them up, bring them to one of the Walmarts either out on Central Freeway, Lawrence Road or Greenbriar. Give them about an hour and fifteen minutes to shop - help them load their groceries and bring them back home."
The program has been operating for about eight years. Organizers say they have the city broken down into three areas and drive people to Walmart on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday depending on where the person lives.
"An individual would have to call our office at Falls Ride. We'll find out where they live and then we'll determine which day of the week they'll do their grocery shopping."
Many participants say the service is crucial to their wellbeing. Donna Campbell, a transit operator, drives the bus.
"They are so happy to get on this bus because they socialize. They get to get out otherwise they would be shut in. It's their freedom I see."
"We don't get much company and with no car we're not able to get out much. So coming out once a week and meeting with our friends is really fun. We made some good friends on the bus."
The Grocery Cart service is offered on a first come first serve basis to anyone who qualifies. Reservations must be made the day before and a round trip ride costs two dollars.
Each bus trip averages about a dozen people. Today's ride was filled with good conversation, sports scores and fresh pear bread and muffins baked by Linda Burks to hand out to her fellow riders.
"It's important to the elderly. They want to maintain their independence. For some of them this is the only way they get out and get to socialize. It becomes a family on the bus."
For more information and to make a reservation, call the transit department's dispatch number at (940) 761-7433