Wintry weather halts Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County deliveries

Sand trucks were out on Wednesday treating the highways across North Texas and making them more drivable. However, the same can’t be said for residential side streets.

Neighborhood streets by and large are like slippery obstacle courses.

They are the main factor in shutting down the work of volunteers who travel to make crucial deliveries for Meals on Wheels in Tarrant County. Friday was the last full day of deliveries.

It all amounts to perhaps the longest interruption in the agency’s history of service to 3,500 homebound and disabled clients in Tarrant County, and that has caused worry.

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As we’ve seen in the past when following volunteers, most clients receive extra nonperishable food items in addition to hot meals to carry them throughout the weekend. It is now three days beyond that theory. 

"They are pretty good about rationalizing," said Phillip Gonzalez with Meals on Wheels. "And we are hoping in this case they were watching the news just as much as we were and knew in the event of ice that volunteers don’t go out."

Meals on Wheels is now urging every able-bodied adult to think about their elderly or shut-in relatives, friends and neighbors who may need food to eat. 

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"It’s all about caring for your neighbor right now," Gonzalez said. "If you know that your next-door neighbor is or family member or friend is homebound or elderly or disabled, it’s always nice to just give a knock on the door or phone call to make sure they are ok."

From Meals on Wheels to a small boots-on-the-ground group called Under the Bridge Ministries Fort Worth.

Raquel Wiggs and a couple of volunteers trekked carefully to help homeless individuals who refuse to go to shelters. 

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"A lot of times, they don’t want to take their stuff in," she said. "I think it’s the worry they don’t want to lose their stuff."

From donations collected via social media, they bought 30 hamburgers and passed them out with other essentials. 

"If they needed gloves, if they needed an extra blanket, if they needed beanies. Anything we could share that had been donated, we were sharing with anybody out there that needed it," Wiggs said.

Meals On Wheels Tarrant County anticipates deliveries will resume on Friday.