Our Meals on Wheels location in Leander, called the Bagdad Activity Center, lost a few volunteers earlier this year when COVID-19 struck. It became more complicated to be a Meals on Wheels volunteer in the spring, especially for volunteers who were most at risk if they were to contract the virus.
We are grateful for our volunteers who have been able to stay on, in addition to those who now support us in other ways from a safe distance.
However, many staff members at OWBC were called upon to make some of these deliveries in Leander, Cedar Park, and Liberty Hill, putting wear and tear on their own vehicles to ensure that all of our senior neighbors were fed. The need for a Meals on Wheels company vehicle became apparent.
Our Director of Development, Lauren McAndrews, sprung to action to apply for grants that would cover the cost of a new vehicle. After applying to several grants over the course of a few months, we received a “yes” for the All Together ATX grant late this summer.
Lauren commented, “Since the pandemic hit, our Meals on Wheels program has not only continued meal service, but has added more seniors to our route and expanded our support to include supplemental food, pet supplies and hygiene products to our senior neighbors. Our Bagdad location serves the Leander, Cedar Park, and Liberty Hill communities. These communities include rural areas where the roads are made of dirt and rock, and they sometimes cross railroad tracks, streams and small bridges. The Bagdad center has been in need of a reliable SUV vehicle that could handle more rugged terrain and allowed for staff to not have to use personal vehicles for such great distances and larger deliveries. This ATX grant that funded the purchase of this vehicle, and the Mazda Georgetown dealership that assisted us with the selection of this vehicle have made a significant impact assisting staff, keeping us safe and ensuring our homebound seniors are receiving the food and supplies they need, especially during these very uncertain and challenging times.”
We are so grateful for this grant and the collaboration with the dealership that has ultimately allowed us to better serve our homebound seniors in Williamson County.
Shout out to Roger Beasley for helping Opportunities obtain a car for the use of Meals on Wheels in Leander, Cedar Park, and Liberty Hill. This wonderful new car will help expedite the meal deliveries and well checks to homebound seniors.” – Carrie Berry, Director of Meals on Wheels