RS&H Regional Planning Service Group Leader Amanda O’Krongley has been delivering dinners from Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors in San Antonio for a dozen years now. And she knows Meals on Wheels is more than a delivery service.
For many on her route, a knock on the door is a wellness check, a chance for interaction and lasting impressions. Amanda learned how to navigate these interactions from her parents, who have delivered Meals on Wheels for more than 20 years. Now, Amanda is passing along these lessons to her two sons who occasionally join her on her delivery route.
“When you knock on the door, you may be the first human they see that day,” she advises her sons. “So, smile and make their day.”
A grant from the RS&H Elevate Fund will make a day’s worth of meals for 3,800 seniors in the San Antonio Meals on Wheels program. Created in 2018, the Elevate Fund provides grants to non-profits where RS&H associates are actively involved. In this first pay-out, the Elevate Fund committee distributed $50,000 across 11 charities.
Amanda nominated Meals on Wheels San Antonio for the Elevate grant. The public-private partnership enables seniors to remain healthy and independent in their own homes, avoiding more costly healthcare alternatives, such as unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations and nursing home placements.
“Just knowing that there’s someone here to check on loved ones who may have no one who can check on them every day – it’s providing so much more than just nutrition,” Amanda said.
Nutrition is well covered, though. Meals are looked over by registered dietitians, with every balanced meal measured out. Meals on Wheels San Antonio’s dietitians visit clients on a regular basis for dietary consultations. A personalized nutrition plan is created based each senior’s specific lifestyle requirements.
Amanda and her family will continue delivering these meals, friendly smiles and caring conversations to everyone on their Meals on Wheels route.