Customer Spotlight: Thomas Johnston

"My son is the one who introduced me to Meals on Wheels. I had nothing when I came here, no car, and I’ve had two cataract surgeries, so I really needed the assistance. It sure does eliminate a lot of individual cooking and preparation and it sort of fills a gap in my food process. Probably the variety too is quite important, and yesterday there was some pumpkin pie which I enjoyed. If I can’t eat all of one meal then there’s the next one I can look forward to. I was kidding to my son and daughter-in-law that I’ve gone back in time because now I’m on junior food!

This isn’t really a living room or dining room, it’s also a workshop, all kinds of those things. This is kind of a mess because I just moved here and I’m still unloading. I’ve got forty xerox type boxes in the basement I have to go through this weekend. I’ve lived in places like Michigan and the east coast and so each time I moved and sold my house some of the stuff came to my son here in Idaho. And so when I got here I had all that brought in.

I gave my deliverer an assignment: I need a literary agent or editor for a publisher. I’ve got two books that I’ve been writing. The first one I hope to find someone that could help me get them printed, a group of stories that reflect my adventures growing up in Idaho along the Black River and the canyons, power plants, dams, and mountains. Ranging from that to being an electrician on a snorkel submarine."

“How would you feel if someone put snow inside your underwear? Especially if you happened to be eleven year old boy and it was put there by, of all people, a girl. While you were wearing it! I learned the answer to that question on a snowy afternoon in December of 1939.”

-Thomas Johnston, Metro Meals on Wheels customer

Special thanks to the students at Boise State University for interviewing Thomas.

Employee Spotlight: Becky Davis

"I got started when I was like, oh gosh, I think I was eighteen when I started, right out of high school when the job opportunity came up. I started out as a driver and drove for a little while and then moved into the kitchen and just stayed. I’ve been here for twenty-two years now.

I love the program, I love what it does, and I love how it helps the senior citizens stay in their homes longer. The program is very beneficial for the seniors to stay in their homes, I think. In their own homes seniors are more comfortable, because they are not put out of place, and out of their comfort zone. So if they are at home, and I can help them stay at home, then I’d do this job all day long.

We start at 5:30 in the morning, we get all the things going, all the food prep, slicing or opening boxes, we cut up fruits and vegetables. We are non-stop until about 10 am, and then we get our second batch of meals going for the Senior Center for the seniors that eat here. We serve one meal a day, but prep the first batch which is the mobile meals, the drivers pick up at 9 am – so we have to make sure the meals are hot and ready to go at 9 am. The second round is for the seniors that are still mobile. Those seniors can come and socialize and eat here at the senior center. We do this Monday through Friday with an option of the weekend, because for some seniors this is the only food option they have.

My favorite aspect of the whole job is helping the seniors stay in their homes and making sure that they get a nutritional meal – and the fact that they love seeing it come in every day. It is really hard work but it is really rewarding, because it is more than just a meal. It’s about a person and their story and we get to be a part of that." -Becky Davis, Metro Meals on Wheels employee of over 25 years

Thank you to the students at Boise State University for volunteering their time to interview and shadow our staff.

Volunteer Spotlight: Maria Minicucci

"I think it’s true with any volunteering that you always get back way more than you give. And that’s really true with Meals on Wheels. First you think you’re just going to be frisbeeing in meals and running back out but for the people who want to talk, who want to get to know you and thank you, it can be quite an amazing experience.

I’ve had a few close calls with people being very near to death. But that’s a privilege too for me to be a part of that process of getting to know the families. Of course it’s hard when someone is dying, but it’s still a privilege to help and get to know these people and their families.

One client and friend of mine lived downtown. I always left him for the end of my route. He’d always insist that I come in, sit down, have a cup of coffee, and chat about things. When he was dying his family put a hospital bed in the living room and they were really comfortable with me visiting him on a daily basis.

I had to actually stop volunteering for a while a few years back because I broke my leg. During that time it was so tough because volunteering for Meals on Wheels is like my weekly pick-me-up, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

All the recipients are invariably grateful — and they tell you that. Everyone is so supportive, which makes it an even better experience. For me, one of the most important things is that Meals on Wheels helps people stay in their homes, and that is so important." -Maria Minicucci, Metro Meals on Wheels volunteer

Thank you to the students at Boise State University for volunteering their time to interview and shadow our staff.

Thankful

As 2016 has ended and 2017 begins, there is much to be thankful for: 

  • Having a Home. No matter where you live, having a place to call home is something to be thankful for.
  • Safety and Security. Being able to wake up without fear allows us to really live life.
  • Pets. Our pets offer one of the best examples of unconditional love.
  • Kindness of Strangers. Never take the kindness of a stranger for granted.
  • Diversity. The world would be a boring place without diversity.
  • Freedom of Speech and Religion. Being able to express our thoughts and feelings freely should never be taken for granted. Being able to worship whomever and however we want is something many people don’t ever experience.  
  • Laughter. Without laughter, the world would be a sad place.

Metro Meals on Wheels would like to thank everyone for their continued support whether it be through volunteering or through donations. The generosity given to our program, and our clients, is greatly appreciated. We would like to take the time to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Meals on Wheels: A Lifeline for Seniors

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Senior hunger is a serious, though often overlooked, issue in our nation. In Idaho, one in six seniors struggles with hunger. Home delivered meal programs like Metro Meals on Wheels provide home-bound adults with nutritious food to maintain their health and independence.

There has been a home delivered meal program to senior citizens and disabled adults in Ada County since 1974. Since 2014, Metro Meals on Wheels has been delivering the support that keeps seniors in their own homes, where they want to be. 85% say it improves their health, 92% say it enables them to remain living at home, and 87% say it makes them feel more safe and secure. Seniors remaining at home, out of hospitals and nursing homes, saves billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid costs.*

Monday through Friday, more than 150 volunteers load freshly prepared meals into their cars and deliver them to homes of people who are unable to shop for and prepare food. The volunteers, many of whom have been volunteering for years, are delivering more than a hot meal. They are also delivering a smile, a handshake and social connection.

Metro Meals on Wheels delivers meals Monday through Friday with the option of having two frozen meals delivered on Friday for the weekend. Meals are also provided at senior centers in Boise, Garden City, Meridian, Eagle, Star and Kuna. The menus are reviewed by a registered dietitian to meet daily nutrition requirements for seniors.

For information about how you can get involved in the Metro Meals on Wheels program, including signing up to volunteer to deliver meals, making a donation, or ordering meals for yourself or someone you know, call us at (208) 321-0030 or visit the Contact page.

*Statistics provided by Meals on Wheels America