Calling all East Texans! A local charity needs your help.

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas charity says they are short of "hands behind the wheel", and could really use your help. They say an hour of your time, can help make someone else's life so much better.

Every day, Eve Barefield looks forward to hearing a knock on her door.

"[The food is] already prepared, and all I have to do is enjoy it, and thank the Lord and y'all for it," said Eva Barefield.

At 96, Ms. Barefield lives alone and it's not easy putting together a big meal every day.

"I wouldn't prepare all that for myself," said Barefield. "I'd prepare just enough to take my medication maybe, but I enjoy every bit of it."

Barefield is one of more than 3,200 East Texans who rely on Meals On Wheels. Workers dish up hot meals in the kitchen at their Tyler headquarters. Volunteers do the rest.

Meals On Wheels prepares more than just hot foods, packing boxes with items like juice and canned goods, but with a volunteer shortage going on, the items may not be getting to people who need them the most.

"The primary concern is it does one of two things," explained Mike Powell, executive director of East Texas Meals On Wheels. "It makes us have to limit the number of people that we serve or we have to pay people to deliver meals."

He credits the shortage to seasonal vacation time and continued pain at the pump.

"Gas prices went down," he said. "We're now seeing them rise again and many of our volunteers are senior citizens, they live on a fixed income, so any time prices go up the way they do it effects their ability to volunteer their time and their vehicle."

Meals On Wheels averages close to half a million dollars in private donations. This year's economic troubles brought that number down 20%. Barefield wants others to see the upside of their purpose while the organization searches for help.

"I hope that everyone that is able to even think about it can appreciate what y'all are doing because it's wonderful," said Barefield.

Meals On Wheels representatives stress any help by donation or time is useful.

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