AUSTIN (KXAN) — With COVID-19 cases still surging across the state, Meals on Wheels Central Texas will continue an altered delivery schedule.
The plan was to return to daily deliveries on Jan. 24, but that will have to wait. Instead, they will deliver three weeks of meals on Jan. 28, then wait to see if the number of cases decreases.
“We just had to make the decision to stay on the altered delivery schedule for everyone,” said Mariette Hummel, Meals on Wheels Central Texas spokesperson.
For the past 20 years, James Hart has spent a few hours a week picking up and dropping off meals to people in need.
“Some of these people don’t have anybody to talk to,” Hart said. “There is not always a chance for someone to go by and see them.”
When the pandemic first started, the organization moved from daily deliveries to bi-weekly deliveries. It also prioritized safety by requiring masks for both clients and volunteers when picking up and dropping off food. Also, meals were dropped at the door.
“I took for granted being able to get up and jump out of bed and go to the grocery store if I wanted,” said Paul Spaar, who says the organization has helped him immensely. “Meals on Wheels has given me an opportunity to connect with somebody on a regular basis when they are bringing food.”
Meals on Wheels Central Texas has not missed a meal delivery during the pandemic, and it works every day to check in on their clients since they don’t see them daily.
“We do everything we can even during this time when we can’t see them every day to check in with them and to make sure they are OK,” Hummel said.
The pandemic has had an impact on volunteers as well. The organization needs more than 200 volunteers when they return to a normal delivery schedule.