OUR VIEW: Meals on wheels vital to Odessa’s less fortunateTHE POINT — Help Odessa’s Meals on Wheels by attending Mudbug 19 or volunteering on a weekday to pack or deliver meals.

It’s hard to imagine 268,000 meals delivered each year in Odessa.
But that’s how many volunteers at Odessa’s Meals on Wheels deliver to seniors, the disabled and the homebound. Some of these folks look forward all day to that meal delivery as a way to stay in touch with society and, of course, for the much needed nourishment.
It’s a big job that these volunteers tackle each weekday as 30 volunteers load up their cars with the 503 meals that are delivered every weekday.
We can’t say enough thank you’s to these fine folks and Executive Director Margaret Burton for the hard work that they do. It is truly God’s work.
They can always use more volunteers – many folks take a lunch hour once a week and use it to deliver the meals. If you don’t have time for that you can still help in other ways.
On Tuesday the Meals on Wheels annual (and only) fundraiser Mudbug is planned. The event is number 19 and features a feast of crawfish, corn, potatoes, shrimp, fish and other Cajun items served in an all-you-can eat style. The event is 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ector County Coliseum’s Barn G.
This friendly feast also features live entertainment. All the funds go back into helping Burton and crew do what they have done best since 1977 – see that Odessans who are homebound don’t go hungry.
There are more kudos to hand out. We also need to give props to Odessa Regional Medical Center. All meals have always been prepped and cooked there before being shipped out around Odessa.
ORMC and the volunteers are the backbone to an organization that has a vision of “independence and dignity of elderly, disabled and homebound residents, so no senior goes hungry.” Meals on Wheels originally had 15 volunteers when they got their start in 1977 and some of the same individuals still drive routes today.
Meals on Wheels relies on funding from the Texas Department of Human Resources, United Way, and the Community Development Block Grant Funds, along with church and private donations to fund their meal service program.
Meals on Wheels started with only 12 clients and now they serve more than 268,000 hot and cold meals a year. Many of the clients of Meals on Wheels, Burton said, could not make ends meet without the nonprofit.
For volunteer opportunities or more event information, visit Meals on Wheels Odessa, or the Facebook event page 19th annual Mudbug.
This is truly an organization that meets the most basic needs of our fellow Odessans. So, eat some great Cajun food or sign up to volunteer and lend a hand to your neighbors.