meals on wheels new building

Meals on Wheels of Palestine Inc. is located at 200 N. Church St. in Palestine. 

Tri-County Meals on Wheels, serving Anderson, Cherokee, and Rusk Counties, needs your help to keep the wheels turning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on MOW.

“This has hit our local funding to the tune of $75,000,” said Lois Durrant, Palestine Senior Citizen Center development director. “We depend on all local funding to supplement our state and federal contract funds.”

Residents who want to help can make a one time donation or consider adopting clients, offering to donate $126 to feed one for a month or $1,512 for the year.

Durrant said monetary donations are not the only way to help.

“If you are unable to help us with a monetary donation, we also need volunteer drivers,” she said.

According to Durrant, at one time MOW was receiving between $2,000 and $3,000 in client donations per month in the counties it serves. It is currently taking in an average of $900 per month.

Due to COVID, all its major fundraisers have been cancelled, including the rental of its building in Palestine for weekend events, the annual Keep The Wheels Turning event, dinner theaters and three major senior citizen trips.

“Without being able to hold any fundraisers at this time, we are in dire need of financial help,” Durrant said. “We have continued to serve all the home bound clients during the pandemic because it is our commitment to make sure that all our clients have been continuously fed. We made a few adjustments to our deliveries to ensure the safety of the clients and our staff.”

To serve one person it costs MOW $6.29. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, MOW served 56,543 meals in Anderson County at a cost of $355,655. Factored into cost is food, food preparation, administration, delivery, salaries, phone, alarm system, building maintenance, utilities, and other necessary expenses.

Meals on Wheels delivers a hot, nutritious meal daily to over 550 recipients across Anderson County, but it is so much more than a meal. MOW volunteers deliver food, interacting with and checking out the recipients well-being while they are there.

The elderly and homebound recipients they serve are at a much greater risk of social isolation and often, MOW volunteers are the only people they interact with on any given day.

Anderson County MOW has served our local elderly since 1977.

The Palestine Senior Center, 200 North Church Street in Palestine, home to MOW, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Donations can be mailed to Tri-County Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 1365, Palestine, TX 75802.

For additional information, call 903-729-6344.

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