Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

South Minneapolis Meals on Wheels still rolling along

Posted on 29 October 2017 by calvin

By JUDY PEACOCK, SMMOW Board Member
Susan Johnson hates peas! Her dislike of the ubiquitous green vegetable goes back to her childhood when her mother insisted she eat every pea on her plate.

Susan, age 78, recently became a client of South Minneapolis Meals on Wheels. Her son signed her up for the program because he was concerned that she wasn’t eating properly. Susan, who lives alone, has limited mobility due to a hip injury so standing in the kitchen trying to fix a meal is difficult. Since she no longer drives her car, getting to the store for groceries is almost impossible.

Photo right: A Meals on Wheels volunteer driver delivers a “Blizzard Box” to a client. The box, which is free of charge to clients, contains shelf-ready food that can be eaten when a weather emergency prevents regular delivery of a noontime meal. (Photo provided)

Meals on Wheels is ideal for Susan. She gets a hot, nutritious meal delivered to her door at noontime, Monday through Friday. She can also get frozen meals for the weekend.

Susan looks forward to a few minutes of chatting with the volunteer driver who brings the meal. In fact, she could have used a volunteer’s help a few months ago when she fell and hit her head on a chair. She had to lie on the floor for hours before her neighbor came home from work and rescued her.

So far, Susan has been satisfied with the meals. The food is tasty, and there’s a good variety. Meals on Wheels kitchen staff are aware of clients’ food dislikes and will make substitutions. In Susan’s case, the staff knows to never send her peas!

South Minneapolis Meals on Wheels (SMMOW) has been serving the greater Longfellow community for more than 40 years. It began in 1972 when Church Women United of Minneapolis urged churches to establish home-delivery meal programs to serve the elderly, the disabled, and “shut-ins” in their area. At present, 17 churches in South Minneapolis support the program by furnishing drivers and donating money for operations. SMMOW is an ecumenical program. It includes Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist churches and recently added drivers from an LGBT congregation.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Meals on Wheels, please call Program Coordinator Sara Larson at 612-721-5487 or e-mail her at somplsmow@gmail.com.

Each meal costs $5, but the cost may be covered by medical insurance or by Hennepin County social services.

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