More than a meal for this former Salvation Army administrator
A stroke left Roy Harris partially paralyzed, disabled and unable to work. That’s when Roy and his wife Patty decided to move from Montgomery, Ala. to Athens, living with their daughter and son-in-law until they found a place of their own.
Before the stroke, Harris had been an administrator and pastor with the Salvation Army. He had become familiar with Meals on Wheels during his career there.
“I had known about it for years as some of our Salvation Army clients were recipients, so when my wife went back to work she suggested I give them a call,” Harris said. “She wanted me to eat healthy, knowing it would help with my medical issues. At that point, I was eating peanut butter sandwiches, raw noodles – simple things I could fix with the microwave because of my limitations.
“I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol – those sorts of things – so it’s important that I get a healthy meal, which Meals on Wheels provides.”
For Roy, Meals on Wheels also means community beyond his wife, daughter and son-in-law.
“The volunteers, coming every day, checking on me, is another benefit,” he said. “I’ve actually developed a relationship with some of them. I know most of them by name. The volunteers who come on Tuesday, Gene and his great-niece Brianna, usually spend an hour chatting with me.
“A lot of elderly and people with disabilities are sort of isolated. For myself, my wife goes to work about 7 a.m., sometimes earlier, and doesn’t get home until about 6 p.m. So, Meals on Wheels provides a connection outside the home, and a sort of wellness check – I would say the program has helped maintain my health.
“I’m very, very grateful for it.”
Along with meals and conversations, Harris has also enjoyed some of the other ways ACCA goes above and beyond with their Meals on Wheels program.
“At Christmas, they always bring several gifts,” he said. “And sometimes they bring fresh vegetables that my wife prepares, which helps with our very limited budget due to me not being able to work.
“Meals on Wheels is just a great program.”