New director at Meals on Wheels, volunteers still needed

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Evelyn West took over as Director at Meals on Wheels in October, after working as the Patron Coordinator for two years.

West has a passion for the community the organization serves as well as the volunteers who aid in the serving.

“I care about the people we serve: the elderly, the handicap, etc.” West said. “Everyone was pushing for me to do it and I may have butted them some along the way but so far I love it. In this position you really have to have some compassion.”

Working for the non-profit has been a second life for West, who was previously in retail management and worked in accounting at National Oilwell Varco for 10 years.

West’s favorite part about working at Meals on Wheels is working with the community.

“I love dealing with our patrons on a daily basis,” West said. “There is a lot of people in need out there and I am just glad we are helping them. There is probably many more out there that we need to reach, as well.”

When West first started, Meals on Wheels had 150 meals delivered Monday through Friday. Now they are up to 250 meals.

But with that many meals, comes the need for more volunteers.

“We desperately need more volunteers,” West said. “We are trying to get the word out as many ways as we can. During the pandemic we had an increase in volunteers when everyone was having to stay home. But now that they have gone back to work, a lot of people are not available.”

Many of the meal routes have had to be divided into two routes because the size of the route has grown exponentially.

Meals on Wheels has about 40 volunteers currently, but many are only volunteer once or twice a week. 

“We have about 10 volunteers we can call no matter what,” West said.

For many receiving these meals daily, it can be the only form of human contact they get. But part of COVID-19 restrictions has caused Meals on Wheels to change how they deliver.

“We put it in a bag and hang it on the door so there is no contact because we don’t want to make anyone sick,” West said. “But before that, they (the recipients) really liked to visit with everybody. But we still have a few that like to meet them at the door. Even with no contact they still like to say, ‘Hi.’”

Masks and gloves are offered, for the volunteers to wear.

Meals on Wheels is in the process of making a website so donations can be made via the Internet. Currently, Meals on Wheels does have a Facebook page for their Pampa location.

West and her husband, Preston , have lived in Pampa for the last 30 years (Preston is from Pampa originally). The pair have two children: a son, Aubrey, and a daughter, Stephanie.

For more information on Meals on Wheels, to donate or to volunteer, call 806-669-1007.

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