Pets Part of Families Needing Meals on Wheels Program
By Egan Matthews, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Every day, Norman's Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to about 300 clients. But often the families that get the meals have extra mouths to feed in their households, their pets.
Steve Gresham has been delivering for meals on wheels for five years. He likes helping out his clients.
“They're always glad to see us. And their pets usually greet us at the door,” said Gresham, a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
Sure enough, when Gresham arrived with a noon meal Friday, Gerald Confreres and his dog Dottier were there to greet him. Confreres has barely enough money for himself and his wife, much less the dog.
“When you're on a fixed income like SSI or social security, which we are on, it's very difficult. It really is. We just don't get that much in social security,” said Gerald Confreres.
So the Contrabass share their delivered meals with Dottier. The practice of sharing the meals with pets worries the Meals on Wheels director.
“It's concerning because I know they love their pets and they want to take care of them. But certainly we want them to get the proper nutrition,” said Meals on Wheels Director Lynn Haynes.
For a few years, Meals on Wheels was aided by another private group that supplied pet food to clients that requested it-- about a hundred or so. But that program has shut down, and the last of the pet food was delivered last week.
That was bad news for 91-year-old Robbed Evans. She only has three cans of the donated cat food left, which is worse news for her cat Prince.
"I found him at the cemetery. It was raining, and it was two weeks old. Somebody had thrown him away. I picked him up and brought him home with me,” said Meals on Wheels client Robbed Evans.
Meals on Wheels hope the public will step up and donate pet food, so both pets and their owners will have enough to eat. If you'd like to donate some pet food, call Norman's Meals on Wheels at 405.321.7272.