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Mobile Meals on the move for 42 years

Caption
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
Mobile Meals volunteers Don May (from left), Becky May, Pat Anson, Ted Harris, Pam Cochran, Carol Gugerty and Marge Laine prepare to deliver another set of meals to people throughout Princeton. Mobile Meals has served the Princeton community for 42 years as an outreach of Church Women United.

PRINCETON — Mobile Meals is celebrating its 42nd year of helping to provide meals for area residents.

Pat Anson, director of the Mobile Meals program, said the lunch and evening meals are prepared through Perry Memorial Hospital, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays. According to a recent Mobile Reports report, nearly 13,000 meals were served during the 2011 year.

Anson credited the long-time volunteer organization, which began in April 1971, to its founders Shirley Coates and Barbara Mueller through Church Women United, as well as to Perry Memorial and all the volunteers who have given of their time during the years to deliver meals to Princeton area residents.

"As from the beginning, the mainstay of Mobile Meals will be always be the volunteers," Anson said. "Undeterred by weather or any other difficulty, Mobile Meals volunteers have enabled the meals to be delivered to Princeton and the surrounding area, up to five miles outside of town, almost every day since that first day 42 years ago."

Anson said the only time the volunteers don't go are when the weather is extreme, and schools are cancelled. For those times, clients are encouraged to always keep a couple cans of soup or frozen meals, she said.

As always, Mobile Meals can always use more volunteer drivers and dispatchers, Anson said, adding being part of this service is a rewarding experience.

As far as its outreach, Mobile Meals service is available for persons of any age who have a problem shopping for food or preparing the food needed to remain in good health or to regain good health, helping people live satisfactorily in their own homes, she said.

According to the Mobile Meals fact sheet, Perry Memorial prepares meals which follows the client's diet as prescribed by their doctor. Each meal is well-balanced and nutritious. A hot meal is served at lunch time and comes with salad and dessert. A sack meal is served at dinner and is equivalent of a sandwich and fruit.

Meals are delivered between 11 a.m. and noon. The cost for the noon meal and supper sack is $6.10 per day. The cost of the noon meal alone is $3.50.

To receive the service, people may be referred by a physician, relative, friend, neighbor, Perry Memorial, In-home Care or even by himself/f/herself. The service may begin and end at any time and be for any length of time. However, Mobile Meals does ask for a minimum of seven days commitment. Also, a 24-hour notice is required to begin.

For more information on the Mobile Meals program, either as a potential client or a volunteer, persons may contact Anson at 815-872-2461.

In looking at the impact of Mobile Meals for the past 42 years, Anson said Mobile Meals has met a definite need in the community and will continue, with the help of its volunteers, to continue as an outreach for many years to come.

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