Recognizing Dedicated Volunteers

Volunteers Needed Wednesday, Thursday to cook for Meal-A-Day; Fill-In Drivers, Program Coordinator Needed

A special breakfast was hosted recently recognizing the dedicated volunteers who staff Sulphur Springs’ Meal-A-Day program.

Approximately 45 volunteers who serve as program cooks and delivery drivers enjoyed fellowship and pancakes, syrup, biscuits, gravy, sausage, bacon, and fruit on Saturday at the banquet.

Volunteers who serve as Meal-A-Day cooks and drivers being recognized with an appreciation breakfast Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022

Represenatitves from at least five local health agencies volunteered their time Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, to serve as cooks for the breakfast appreciation event. They included Mike Patterson, Visiting Angels; Stacey Wetzel, Mays Home Health; Charlotte Baxter, Carriage House Manor; Angela Chupp, Thad Gregory and Edward Henk, BT Medical; Tim Walsworth, Summit Hospice; and “everyone’s friend, Linda Mobley.”

On any given week, volunteers donate approximately 145 hours to prepare, package, and deliver the meals prepared Monday-Friday to local seniors who depend on th Meal-A-Day Program.

Approximately 120 meals each day are delivered by Meal-A-Day volunteer drivers to seniors on five separate routes in Sulphur Springs and one route covering the Como-Pickton area stretching from State Highway 11 north to Interstate 30. The remaining 30-40 meals are available for reservation and pick-up at the Sulphur Springs Senior Citizens Center for those seniors who have transportation. Seniors currently pay only $2 per meal.

Each day of the work week has a separate cooking team and individual or pair of drivers for each route. Each day Meal-A-Day needs four to five cooks (20-25 volunteers a week) including one head cook and six route drivers (30-plus volunteers a week). Some routes are covered by 1 driver and some by a pair of drivers.

“Meal-A-Day needs additional volunteers to continue this vital service. Currently, some of our volunteers are working multiple days a week to ensure each day has a full cooking team and all six routes have drivers,” said Tina Phillips, one two volunteers sharing temporarily supervising duties for the Meal-A-Day until a new volunteer manager can be found and trained. “Your help is needed to continue serving our seniors and relieve some of our current volunteers doing double duty.”

Business volunteers who help prepare breafkast for those who donate their time as cooks and drivers for the Meal-A-Day program.

Meal-A-Day most urgently needs two volunteers to donate their time on either Wednesday or Thursday as full-time members of the cooking teams. Meal prep takes 3 to 3 ½ hours a day. Volunteer cooks work from 7 a.m. until approximately 10 or 10:30 a.m. on their desginated days. Fill-in cook openings are also available for every day of the work week.

“There are times full-time cooks need a day off due to appointments or sickness. It would be great to have some fill-in cooks that can step in when full-time cooks need the day off,” Phillips said. “If you would like to help cook next Wednesday or Thursday, but can’t commit to every Wednesday or Thursday, please call the Senior Citizens Center at 903-885-1661. We would be glad to have you next week or in two weeks to help out until the full-time cook opening is filled. If you can only help cook on the second and fourth Wednesdays of a month, please call to volunteer for those weeks. There just might be someone else who can only volunteer to cook on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.”

And, while it the volunteer position is for “cook,” the person donating time does not need ot know a lot about cooking.

“You just need to be able to follow directions. The head cook on each day knows the daily processes and the menus and will help with the recipes, knows what order the menu items are prepared and knows the daily clean-up and sanitizing routines,” Phillips said.

Volunteers who serve as Meal-A-Day cooks and drivers being recognized with an appreciation breakfast Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022

Fill-in and substitute route drivers are also useful, as they are contacted when a scheduled route driver needs to be off for appointments or sickness. Route delivery starts around 9:30 or 10 a.m. and delivery takes until about 11:30 or noon depending on the route being delivered.

Meal-A-Day is also interested in finding someone with a heart for seniors to manage the program.

“We estimate it will take someone approximately 4 hours a day to organize and oversee the cooks, drivers, menus, food ordering, billing, posting payments, and a few other administrative items,” Phillips said.

All interested in volunteering to be the Meal-A-Day manager are asked to mail a letter to Meal-A-Day Board of Directors, 150 Martin Luther King Dr., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482, explaining their qualifications for the position and why they are interested in volunteering to manage the program. Phillips said the position could even consist of two dedicated friends who split the volunteer duties; just send letters to the MAD Board of Directors.

“Please come be a part of Meal-A-Day! It is a rewarding experience. You meet a lot of nice volunteers who love helping our community seniors. Come help us continue to bless our seniors with meals,” Phillips urges.

Business volunteers who help prepare breafkast for those who donate their time as cooks and drivers for the Meal-A-Day program.

Author: KSST Contributor

Share This Post On