Every week for the last 15 years, Jackie Holiman has spent an hour in her white mini-van driving meals to home-bound seniors. Jackie is more than 80 years old.
Not only is Jackie transporting a hot, nutritious and ready-to-eat lunch, she is also providing companionship to the seniors.
“My favorite part is seeing them every day and making sure that they’re OK,” Jackie said.
Meals On Wheels Association of America is a non-profit senior nutrition program. Jackie serves with the Springdale Meals On Wheels.
“I chose this because I have a soft spot for the old folks, especially the ones that barely get by,” Jackie said.
For Jackie, volunteering with Meals On Wheels is very rewarding.
“They’ll say, ‘oh thank you for doing this, oh I’m so sorry you have to get out in the cold’ and I always tell them, I get more out of it than you do and I truly, truly do,” she said.
A meal will cost $5 and each elderly person in need will get one every day. The Springdale Meals On Wheels is partially funded through grants, but is left to raise $250,000 annually through fundraisers and individual donations.
Delaney Gates works with Meals On Wheels and said there is a high demand for volunteers and that it is a very rewarding experience.
“A volunteer comes back for the first time and they have such a heart-warming experience seeing these people who have been alone at home all day,” she said. “The volunteers say that they always get so much more out of it than they give and they are so grateful for the experience, so that’s why they keep coming back.”