Never Too Late March/April 2024

Meals & Nutrition

Exploring the Heart of Community: Lunchtime Chronicles In this special feature, we bring you a fun Q&A session with a cherished member of our vibrant community who has found a second home at one of our Community Lunch Program sites. Meet Richard, whose story illuminates the true essence of our lunch gatherings – where nutritious meals and heartwarming connections merge seamlessly across all 13 sites scattered throughout Pima County. Meet Richard

Brenda: A Dedicated Heart Behind Pima Meals on Wheels

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the quiet heroes who work tirelessly to ensure that no one is forgotten. Among these unsung champions is Brenda, a devoted Pima Meals on Wheels driver whose unwavering dedication and compassionate spirit embody the heart of our program. For thirteen years, Brenda has been a driver for Pima Meals on Wheels through Lutheran Social Services of the SW and became involved from a deep-seated desire to support her community’s older adult population. "I love what I do," Brenda says with a smile, reflecting on how rewarding she finds her job. "I get satisfaction that I help our clients through not only delivering meals, but I know that they're doing OK too," Brenda explains, highlighting her commitment to more than just delivering meals. Brenda embodies the spirit of care and connection that defines Pima Meals on Wheels. Many clients enjoy her visits and conversations, appreciating her deliveries beyond just the meals and telling her they miss her when she’s not working. Brenda cherishes the connections she has formed with her clients and states that she also misses their interactions when she's not working. Brenda is more than just a driver—she is a dependable presence for those who are homebound and often lonely. "Making sure they are not forgotten. There is a fine line between driver and relative. I like just getting to know them, really; older people are walking history books," Brenda shares, reflecting on her favorite part of delivering meals.

For many clients, the Pima Meals on Wheels deliveries are a lifeline. "I have Parkinson’s so I can’t really cook. This is my main meal. I appreciate it," one client explains, highlighting the crucial role of Pima Meals on Wheels in his life. "It's the recurring happiness in their faces when they open the door and see it's me with their meals," Brenda says. "It never gets old when they open the door and say, 'My day just got a whole lot better,' and it's because of me. It's the memory of knowing that they appreciate me coming to the door, knowing that we stop by and check up on them." As Brenda continues to navigate her familiar routes, she carries with her the legacy of compassion and care that defines Pima Meals on Wheels. With each knock on the door and each smile exchanged, she reaffirms the belief that no one should ever feel forgotten or alone. And for that, we are endlessly grateful. (l to r) William, and Meals on Wheels driver, Brenda “I have been getting meals for around a year and it's been good, I have had the same driver the whole time and she checks up on me.” ~ William

Richard originally heard about the Community Lunch program during the pandemic when meals were being delivered door to door. After

COVID, Richard began to attend Community Lunches in person and says that he enjoys meeting and greeting new people. Do you ever worry about getting enough of the right kinds of healthy foods when you eat somewhere else? “Sometimes I worry I won’t get enough good foods if I don’t come here.”

Find a Community Lunch Site Near You!

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 5

Pima Council on Aging

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