Can you imagine cooking 275 meals in an un-airconditioned kitchen five days a week during the recent summer months? Last June the temperature in Junction hit 107 degrees! This is the situation faced by the cooks at the Kimble County Meals on Wheels.
The Kimble County Meals on Wheels serves over 275 meals each weekday to elderly, home-bound, and disabled citizens spread over 4078 square miles covering four counties: Mason, Concho, Menard, and Kimble. The meals cooked in Junction are driven to clients as far north as Eola, Millersview, and Paint Rock and as far east as Mason. The clients rely upon a daily visit from their volunteer, as well as the nutritious hot meal they receive. In addition, a number of physically-able seniors come to the local Meals on Wheels facility for a hot, nutritious lunch, as well as the companionship of each other. They can exercise, play games, and visit with other seniors. The stated mission of the organization is to provide this service to assist senior citizens to continue living in their homes for as long as possible, as well as enhancing the quality of their lives and their physical well-being.
The organization needs the help of those who support its mission to raise the match money needed for them to obtain grant funding to replace the building in which they are currently housed. There is a tremendous need for a new facility as the Kimble County Meals on Wheels operates out of a 66-year-old un-airconditioned building that has been donated by Kimble County for the organization’s use. To remedy the dire situation facing the Meals on Wheels’ staff and clients, contractors assessed the building to see if it could be remodeled to include air-conditioning for continued use by the Meals on Wheels organization. It was determined that it would not be cost-effective to do so. The next remedy was to build a new facility for the organization on the two lots they already own on the corner of 7th and Oaks Street.
The Meals on Wheels Board of Directors and the Foundation Board met with a design/construction manager and decided that a plan would be developed that would meet the needs of the organization for many years to come. A facility has been designed that has a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, a large dining room area that can accommodate 150 people, three meeting/game rooms, two offices, restrooms, ample dry storage and freezer and cooler vaults. The building is designed to be handicapped-accessible from the porte-cochere over the front entry to the covered driveway allowing volunteers to be out of the weather while loading the meals they will be delivering. The facility will be available for event leasing and to provide catering needs.
In order to fund the construction of this project, the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors is applying for grant funding from foundations in Midland, San Angelo, and Kerrville. Most foundation grants require in-kind donations, as well as matching funds to show support of the community for the project. The Board has opened a building fund at Junction National Bank and is seeking donations from all communities served by the Kimble County Meals on Wheels. It is hoped that those citizens of Kimble, Concho, Mason, and Menard counties who share the vision of providing for the needs of the increasingly senior population of this area will step forward and donate to this building project so that construction of a new facility can begin soon.
Donations can be made to the Kimble County Meals on Wheels Building Fund and mailed to 404 College St., Junction, TX 76849. If you have any questions, call Kimble Co. Meals on Wheels at 325-446-3621.