Meals-on-Wheels Looks To Help Seniors Feed Their Pets 1/3/14
CBS 7 News
January 3, 2014
ODESSA/MIDLAND-Many seniors enrolled in the Meals-on-Wheels program in both Odessa and Midland have been struggling to feed their pets.
Some have been sharing their own food with their pets, causing members of the organizations to worry about seniors getting enough to eat themselves.
Members of Meals-on-Wheels, in both Odessa and Midland, have taken matters into their own hands after realizing how many seniors involved in the program need help feeding their pets.
Albert Chandler is just one of many seniors enrolled in the Meals-on-Wheels program in West Texas, who struggles to put food on the table for he and his pets.
Chandler lives in a small trailer alone with his dog Josie, and two house cats, which were given to him after an old neighbor moved away.
"I worry more about them than I do myself. They come first, I make sure of that," said Chandler.
Tamara Seaton and Cindy Cantrell, both Volunteer Coordinators for the Meals-on-Wheels in Odessa, have taken it among themselves to deliver dog and cat food to those seniors whose pets are in need.
"We load up our van with our meals everyday, and then we get dog treats and we take dog food out to those who are in need,” said Seaton.
Seaton and Cantrell say they hope to make weekly deliveries to these pets, but are in need of the community's help.
Over at the Meals-on-Wheels in Midland, one board member is in the works of developing a new program, called Meals-on-Wheels For Paws, where they will deliver meals for both seniors and their pets.
"The thought was, if we're delivering a meal for the person, why not also deliver meals to their pets, and that way the pet gets fed, the senior gets fed," said Andy Shaffer, a board member for Meals-on-Wheels in Midland.
Shaffer says he understands why these seniors have pets in the first place, even if they can't necessarily afford to keep them.
"You want them to have the pet there, it’s good for your health, your physical health is good for your mental health," said Shaffer.
Shaffer says they're taking surveys of how many seniors have pets, and hope by March to have the program up and running.
If you wish to take part either by volunteering, or making a donation to Meals-on-Wheels, you can contact the Odessa location at (432) 333-6451, and the Midland location can be reached at (432) 689-6699.