Meals on Wheels weekend program in jeopardy due to funding issue

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A program that helps fight hunger in Wichita Falls is in jeopardy.

The Weekend Meals on Wheels program ensures nearly a thousand seniors have something to eat every Saturday and Sunday. But due to lack of funding, it could be going away soon.

"I depend on it and y'all have been so nice to me and would really hate for it to be taken away,"  Hattie Walker, a Meals on Wheels client said. "It would hurt a lot of us."

For almost four years, Walker has been served a hot meal, five days a week, and said the weekend meals over the last year have eased her mind.

However, clients like Walker, who are disabled or unable to make a meal for themselves will lose those extra meals if the $200,000 goal isn't met by March 31.

"Our meals on wheels clients, the majority of them never call us until they absolutely have no other alternative because they don't want to handout, they don't want to feel like they are begging," Pam Hughes, the Kitchen's marketing, and development director said. "They are in genuine need."

Hughes said the weekend program kicked off last year after a survey showed clients were going hungry.

"Some of them were either going altogether without foot or taking portions of the meals that we were delivering during the week and setting them aside so they wouldn't go hungry on the weekends," Hughes said.

She adds the people they serve are not just numbers, they've become family and that's exactly what Walker said she loves most about meals on wheels.

"They say, oh miss Walker we are praying for you, we are going to have a prayer, and you know that helps a lady like me, a lot," Walker said. "That encourages me because I'm here by myself and I just need encouragement."

The program is not only short in money but they're also in need of volunteers.

Both Dave and Debby Plante started delivering meals last year, and are also encouraging others to make a difference.

"If they can't volunteer their time, they can donate money. A small amount goes a long way in this particular program," Dave said.

Hughes said this month, also kicks off March for Meals.

The nationwide program raises awareness of senior hunger by encouraging community members to volunteer in hopes of seeing first hand how a little time impacts the lives of so many.

If you would like to volunteer or give to help save the weekend Meals on Wheels program click here. 

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