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  • Last modified 89 days ago (Feb. 22, 2018)

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Meals on Wheels cooks up love for neighboring community

Staff writer

Thanks to the altruism of one woman, five Florence community members benefit from Meals on Wheels, which they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Peabody Senior Center is an outlet for the program and funded through the North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging. The center has to follow certain guidelines to be reimbursed for the mileage they acquire while delivering meals.

Recipients must live within one mile outside of town. For those who are 56 and older, they recommend paying $3.50 a meal, but they are only required to pay what they can afford.

When a Florence resident in need was brought to the attention of LouAnne Bowlin, the site nutrition manager for Peabody Senior Center, she quickly started brainstorming solutions.

“I knew Sherri lived in Florence and wanted to see if they would accept her doing it on her way home,” Bowlin said. “They did approve it as long as we don’t claim it on our mileage. The benefit of this is they’re getting meals they otherwise might not get. It brings a lot of joy.”

Sherri Wilson has been a cook at the senior center for four years and didn’t hesitate at an opportunity to help others.

“I’m heading back that way anyway,” she said. “I don’t mind just delivering it on my own.”

Wilson said she heard by word of mouth that there were other Florence elderly people in need of meals living at Carriage Manor, so her deliveries expanded, totaling five.

Meals on Wheels offers up to 14 meals a week and provides healthy and balanced meal options, substituting items for those with special diet requirements.

The new option for Florence residents has also created new friendships.

“Some of these ladies I didn’t know before, and it’s been really neat getting to know them,” Wilson said. “Their families also tell me how happy they are and that makes me happy, too. That’s the whole idea behind this. To provide for the person you’re cooking for. It’s just like cooking for my family, because they are my family.”

Wilson does get something in return for delivering the meals she has prepared.
“I get lots of hugs. They’re sweet as all get out and I love them all.”

Last modified Feb. 22, 2018

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