Meal-A-Day volunteers help feed some 130 senior citizens who might otherwise go hungry - and the list is growing
Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor
Driving Out Hunger
Meal-A-Day volunteer Kathlyn Cannon delivers a nutritious, hot meal to the home of Melvin Thomas on Fuller Street. Mr. Thomas' residence is just one of 10 stops Cannon made on Wednesday as a volunteer driver for the Meal-A-Day program, which feeds 130 senior citizens throughout Sulphur Springs and Como. Cannon said she feels blessed by the volunteer work that she does.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

July 22, 2005 - Billie Couthran's volunteer job is both heart-breaking and a blessing.

For the past four years, she has donated her driving and cooking skills to the Meal-A-Day program, helping feed the many senior citizens that don't have the luxury of three square meals a day.

"For some, this is their ONLY meal," said Couthran, who explained many aren't able to cook or shop for themselves any longer, or simply may not have the money. "It just breaks my heart. Some don't have any family here so they have no way to get food."

The Meal-A-Day program cooks and delivers one hot meal a day to 130 senior citizens in Sulphur Springs and Como who are disabled, homebound or have no one to prepare meals for them.

And that list is getting longer.

"In order to help, we need more help," explained Meal-A-Day Director Karon Weatherman, who has approximately 30 volunteer drivers and five cooks. "Until we have more volunteers, we can only help so many."

Right now, volunteer drivers are delivering 15 to 20 meals each on about six routes that take approximately an hour and a half of their time five days a week, including holidays. According to Weatherman, they are currently looking for someone to drive a regular Monday route, as well as substitutes that can be on call should a regular volunteer be unable to come in.

Cooks are also needed, according to Juanita Wallace, who also volunteers her time and energy to the Meal-A-Day program. She said that cooks simply have to prepare the food and are not obligated to come up with the menus.

"It's generally just a meat and two vegetables, dessert, or sometimes a casserole," explained Wallace.

According to Couthran, young and old alike are encouraged to take part in this rewarding program, which she said has been a real blessing by allowing her to help those who are not able to get out.

"We all need to realize one day we may be walking in their shoes," she said. "It's just a good feeling to know you've done something nice for someone else."

Anyone with a heart for helping who would enjoy cooking or delivering meals can contact Weatherman at 903-885-1661 weekdays before 1 p.m.

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