Meals on Wheels, the program to deliver meals to elderly or ill folks, has a new twist to it here in Space City. It is called AniMeals on Wheels and the volunteers deliver pet food along with people food to those living with four legged friends. Isn't that a really wonderful idea? And why did it take so long for someone to figure that out? I wish I had. What the volunteer delivery angels were finding was that the clients were sharing their meals with their animals, so neither were being properly nourished. So, requests went out for bags of dry food for dogs and cats. And, the addition to the traditional Meals on Wheels program began.
I love it.
It just makes sense, doesn't it? If I ran out of pet food and wasn't able to get out and purchase more, I'd share my people food, too. People food, however, isn't the best nutrition for animals.
The national Meals on Wheels office is very supportive of the new inititive and is offering grants to local agencies to develop programs of their own, to support the residents in their communities. The CEO, Enid Broden, cites the fact that seniors lives are enriched by pets and the pets help to keep seniors healthy. By focusing on another living creature, the senior wants to remain able to 'stay on top of your game so you can take care of your pet,'according to Ms. Borden.
Although no economic requirements are made to be eligible for the home delivery program, the clients have to be 60 years or older and have trouble shopping or cooking for themselves due to physical difficulties. It is said the average recipient is 65 to 79 years of age and lives on less than $10,000 per year, according to national data.
The number of seniors in Harris county served by Interfaith: 3,200
The number of pet owners receiving AniMeals on Wheels: 132
Here in Houston, in Harris county, the majority of clients are served by Interfaith Ministries, the rest are served by others. Interfaith is funded by both private and public monies. AniMeals on Wheels, however, is entirely run and sponsored by volunteers and donations. Houston's ASPCA has supplied most of the pet food for Houston's program. Girls Scouts and other organizations have conducted pet food drives. The deliveries of pet food are made one Saturday a month.
There is no shortage of volunteers. The program is catching on across the nation.
I love it.