OKLAHOMA CITY – The ‘Mobile Meals’ program delivers hot food to home-bound seniors in the metro.
Sometimes, it is the only meal they get and the only chance they have to connect with others.
Cecilia Parkey has been delivering meals to seniors as a volunteer with Chapel Hill Methodist Church for 8 years.
She also runs the church’s Mobile Meals operation each week.
She likes to add a little something extra to her meal deliveries.
“My goal is to put a smile on every one of their faces before I leave,” Parkey said.
Parkey was shocked to learn the program is facing budget cuts by the state and may have to shut down.
“There would just be no way to coordinate all the churches. It just couldn’t happen without them,” Parkey said.
Mobile Meals serves 165,000 meals every year to seniors.
It takes the coordination of a large group of volunteers made of 77 churches and other organizations to make it happen.
Right now, there are over 1,000 seniors who depend on the program and look forward to having someone check in on them.
Janice Branson is one of them.
“Seeing their happy faces. They just perk you up a little bit and make you feel a little better,” Branson said.
And, if volunteers knock and no one answers the door, they start making phone calls to make sure everything is okay.
“‘It’s Mobile Meals at you front door.’ ‘Who is it?’ ‘Mobile Meals,'” said Parkey to a recipient who did not hear her knock. “They could be injured, and you don’t know it.”
But, if the Mobile Meals program can’t find a way to make up for about $15,000 in state budget cuts, it will be forced to suspend operations.
“I know we have homeless to serve and children, but we also have these retired elderly people that really need help, and I hope people hear this and can do something,” said Carolyn Roslik, director of Mobile Meals.
If not, hungry seniors could be left with no where else to turn.
KFOR’s Kent Ogle initiated a GoFundMe account to help keep the program alive. He will not handle any of the donations as they will go directly to the program.