Meals on Wheels East Texas celebrates nationwide milestone

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Meals on Wheels is celebrating a big milestone this month – 50 years of serving seniors nationwide. Meals on Wheels East Texas is doing a handful of activities this month that you can get involved in during their March for Meals campaign.

Mornings at Meals on Wheels East Texas stay busy with volunteers packing up food and heading out onto their routes. Decker Kennington has been a volunteer for 26 years.

“There’s a lady that reminds me of my mom, and she’s a real sweet lady. Just about everyone, well, I know every one of the people that’s on my route, and they’re real appreciative,” Kennington said. “But you get to meet people, and they’ll call you by name. It’s just a real blessing.”

Miranda Asmussen, who does marketing and PR for Meals on Wheels East Texas, said this month is all about bringing in new volunteers, amplifying fundraising, and spreading awareness about their work.

“Coming out of the pandemic, every non-profit has been hit really hard, and we want to continue to do what we do. We have a fleet of 62 cars. We prepare over 2,500 meals a day, and that takes money,” Asmussen said.

It’s more than just money though; the volunteers keep their mission in motion.

“A lot of our volunteer base is retirees, and we are really trying to diversify the nature of the volunteers that we have to bring in more young families and teens and college students, so our clients are blessed by visits from more than just people in a certain demographic,” Asmussen said.

For those who may not have time to give, they have a new way you can donate through the RoundUp app.

“You can donate the spare change from everyday debit and credit card purchases. So you don’t even have to think about making a monthly gift, or a one time gift,” Asmussen said. “That’s one of our convenient new ways to give and support our organization.”

“I’d just invite people to come out and try it. Like I said, I started about 26 or 27 years ago, and a guy at my church was doing it and he said, ‘You want to do that?’ I said, ‘I don’t really know what it is,’” Kennington said. “So I rode with (him) and saw what he did. So I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ I’ve had a good time, and I enjoy it. It gives me something to do a couple of days a week.”

March is also their Mayor Mayhem contest. They invited 23 mayors across cities in six counties of East Texas to volunteer and share their experiences. At the end of the month, one mayor will be announced ‘Mayor of the Year.

For more on how to get involved, you can visit the Meals on Wheels website.

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