LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Every day, almost 500Angelina County citizens benefit from the Meals on Wheels program.
And as summer heatsup, having volunteers who are able to work daily and show care to theindividuals is key. East Texas News got to ride along with the Meals on Wheelsteam to see why it's more than just food they deliver.
Five days a week,Leon Moore delivers meals for the Meals on Wheels program, and he sees each personon his route as family.
Moore said the dailystops can help prevent a tragedy, which is why he always checks to make theworst doesn't happen.
"I found agentleman," Moore said. "He fell on a Sunday afternoon, and he laid their untilthe next day when I came at 10 o'clock."
Moore is one of eightdrivers in the county's program, all coordinated from the Angelina CountySenior Center. While many Meals on Wheels programs across the country arestruggling with manpower and finances, the folks with this one are crossingtheir fingers.
"I wouldn't saywe are doing ok, but we are blessed. We are very fortunate that Angelina Countyis amazing," said Robyn Hight, the director of the Angelina County SeniorCenter.
And while they areokay right now, they can always use more volunteers to help the process.
Back on the road,Moore said, "44 … 48 miles round trip. It's just scattered out. You noticed alot of twist and turning. Right, left, right."
At each stop, thepeople are grateful for the meal they receive.
"It's what we areliving on except when we go to IHOP," said Charlie Kimble, one of the peoplewho receive the meals.
This is usually a oneman job. But Monday, Moore had help, his 7-year-old grandson.
"I'm showinghim, volunteer when you have time to do it off your job when you are young,"Moore said.
Bryson Whitehead,Moore's grandson, said his favorite part of Monday is that they got to helppeople.
Hight said they havebeen very fortunate that funding has not prevented them from moving to a once aweek delivery of freezable food. She believes keeping daily deliveries cuts therisk of tragic accidents.