I have always felt that food is love and there is no better way to lift the spirits of someone than with a hot meal. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Meals On Wheels Tampa and learned so much about this wonderful organization. Located at 550 W. Hillsborough Ave., Meals On Wheels was founded in March of 1975 (my birthday month and year) by Tampa resident, Gloria Fuentes. While Gloria was caring for her two homebound relatives who were living on opposite sides of the city, she realized the difficulty of not having them geographically close enough to care for both during the same time frame. She was then inspired to form a group of pastors and church members throughout Tampa to organize an effort to assist those individuals who wanted to remain independent in the security of their own homes. Thus Meals on Wheels was born in the recreation hall of a local church where volunteers prepared meals and delivered to those who were homebound.
Fast forward to 1993 when Meals on Wheels purchased the building at their current location on Hillsborough. In 2005, thanks to an extensive capital campaign, their kitchen was renovated to commercial grade and enabled them to reach even more people in need of meals.
During my visit, I had the pleasure of trying one of the meals that is provided to those in need. I must say, it was quite delicious and consisted of Honey Dijon Chicken with Buttered Noodles and Caramel Carrots.
The flavors in this dish were fantastic and I found the chicken to be comforting. I had been having a bit of a stressful day and when I sat down to eat, I instantly felt better and more relaxed. I can only imagine how those who receive those meals must feel.
Other meals offered include:
Lite Teriyaki Sauce
Whole Wheat Bread
Garden Salad with Tomato
Hand Fruit (Orange)
Broccoli / Lima Beans
Sliced Sesame Loin of Pork
Gravy & Steamed Rice
Carrot Raisin Salad
Warm Spiced Apples
Whole Wheat Bread
Tropical Fruit Salad
Cheese Ravioli Marinara
After taking a tour of their kitchen, I was quite impressed with the way everything is produced. Truly a spacious facility, their kitchen reminds me of one you would find in a bustling hotel or high-volume restaurant. The amount of passion that goes into each meal is quite apparent once you taste the final product. I was also delighted to know that their chef was once the chef for Estée Lauder. How fantastic is that?
There are so many other wonderful services offered by Meals on Wheels such as Non-Profits Helping Non-Profits which was launched in the summer of 2011. The goal is to create a source of sustainable funding for their mission. This program provides meals to other non-profit organizations that are in need of food services. The revenue generated through these contracts go directly into supporting their mission of caring for the homebound and seniors of Tampa. I just love this program!
To learn more about Meals on Wheels Tampa, I encourage you to stop by or even volunteer. They are such a dynamic organization and I love what they are doing for our community. One fantastic way to volunteer is through their Adopt-A-Route! This program provides the ideal way for companies, civic and faith-based organizations to engage in community service. By working with Meals On Wheels of Tampa, companies can offer their employees or member volunteers time to deliver mid-day meals.To learn more, you can contact Andrea Brogen, Director of Community Relations at 813-238-8410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am honored I got to spend some time at Meals on Wheels and learn about this fantastic organization. Be sure to visit them on Facebook by clicking here.
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