Nutrition Center seeks Meals on Wheels volunteers

MARFA — Volunteers are needed for the Meals on Wheels program that serves hot lunches to over 100 Marfa residents every weekday. During COVID-19, demand for meal assistance grew, and more Marfa residents signed up to receive help from the program.

At the same time, the nutrition center had to close their dining area since gathering a vulnerable elder population was risky. All meals had to be delivered to each individual’s home by volunteers, rather than eaten at the center.

But even as delivery needs increased, the number of available volunteers has not grown much. Edward Cobos, the nutrition center director, said the local police department stepped in to help “full force” when the pandemic hit, but as the officers have become busier, Cobos is looking for volunteers to help fill the gaps. “I need someone to learn their route.”

Volunteers with Meals on Wheels are assigned a route, where they spend approximately one to two hours in the morning picking up meals from the Marfa Activity Center’s nutrition center on Mesa Street and delivering them along a set route of elderly Marfans. Other volunteers help with certain aspects in the kitchen, or “just packaging meals in the kitchen, getting them ready to go out.” Volunteers can serve one day a week, or more if desired.

Volunteering in the kitchen and packing lunches begins around 10 a.m. and deliveries start at 11 a.m., running anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the route.

According to Cobos, Fridays need more hands on deck, because those relying on the program for food receive a sack lunch along with their hot meal, to help them get through the weekend.

“I’m needing volunteers to come in and check with me to see where we could put them,” said Cobos, adding that the nutrition center is currently feeding 115 to 120 people a day.

Those interested in helping out their Marfa neighbors by filling up the schedule to deliver Meals on Wheels can sign up to volunteer by calling Cobos at 432-729-4703 or emailing nutritioncenter@cityofmarfa.com.


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