After the threat of having to shut the food ministry down in August, Meals on Wheels is now blessed and back on its feet, says executive director Michael Tyler.
“We have reached out, not just in prayer, but to the media. And people from different companies have come in week after week to keep us alive.
According to its mission statement, “Meals on Wheels of Horry County, Inc. glorifies our Lord Jesus Christ by providing home-delivered meals and fellowship to the homebound, elderly, and frail of Horry County.”
Tyler said while the majority of the ministry’s clients are elderly, there is no age criterion.
“Every case is different,” he said, “but this is for people who cannot prepare meals for themselves. They are homebound, or they would endanger themselves by cooking.”
How many people are served varies, but there are generally close to 90.
There are 11 drivers a day and at least four other volunteers in the rented Carolina Forest kitchen at 4006 Postal Way.
In December, Chick-fil-A had a “Cookies for Charity” event, donating 15 % of its cookie sales to the non-profit.
Also in December, local Subway restaurants donated 250 boxed meals.
“We chose to partner with Meals on Wheels because of the wonderful work they do to support seniors who are facing isolation and hunger,” said Kaytlin Wilson of The Summit Group.
That donation from Subway allowed MOW to delver meals to recipients twice in one day instead of the usual once.
“It’s been amazing,” Tyler said, “to see how the community rallied and stepped in to keep us going.”
Donations can be sent to Meals on Wheels POB 50862 Myrtle Beach SC 29579. They can also be made through the website, www.mowhc.org.
Meals for one person for a week are $30. For a month, it’s $120 and for a year, $1,500. Special diets such as low fat, low sodium, diabetic and chopped meals are available.
For more information, email Michael@mowhc.org or call 843-970-2330.
Along with donations, drivers are always needed.
“Some people are in a state of despair, maybe recently coming home from the hospital and feeling like they have nothing to live for,” said Michael Turk, one of the drivers who delivers food to the clients.
When he called to check on a recipient he was concerned about, she told him it was a good day because he’d called.
“You can tell in their voice, and see in their eyes how they’re feeling without them uttering a word.”
Drivers don’t just drop the meal off, they also check on the client and spend a few minutes making sure they’re OK.
“A lot of times, just being able to listen is what helps,” Turk, who drives from Aynor to volunteer, said.”
Yes, it’s a long drive, he said, and yes, volunteering means adjusting his personal schedule.
“But,” he said, “The reward is so much greater than the sacrifice.
“If someone isn’t ambulatory and if nobody is coming to take them to a doctor’s appointment, they’re prisoners in their own home. Can you imagine that?
“It’s a cliché that we get more than we give when we do for others, but we do. The reward is for the volunteers as much as for the recipient.”