Delivering More Than a Meal

February 4, 2020

“We didn’t know where we would get the money,” says 82-year-old Mary Guerra.  She and her husband, Daniel, knew the East Austin home they’ve lived in for 50 years desperately needed repairs.  A leaky roof; a bathtub that posed a safety threat for Mr. Guerra, who uses a walker; and a broken HVAC system were just some of the serious problems they faced.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The Guerra’s worked hard all of their lives.  He spent 34 years at Bruce Pie Company and she was employed at Tracor for decades.  They also raised four sons and, later, four of their grandchildren. 

Now retired, the Guerras rely on Social Security to get by. They signed up to receive our nutritious home-delivered meals last year.   Mr. Guerra has special dietary needs due to a medical condition, so his lunches are medically tailored by our registered dietitians.  The Guerra’s beloved dog, Bella, even gets free pet food and free veterinary care through our PALS program.

While the Guerras knew we could provide nourishment for themselves and Bella, they were overjoyed to learn we could also fix their house. Our Home Repair Program, using funds approved by Austin voters in the 2018 bond election, put in a new roof, replaced that bathtub with a walk-in shower, and installed a new HVAC system.

The Guerras can now age in place in the space they call home.  “My grandchildren always tell me ‘grandma, please don’t ever sell your house, this is where we were raised’,” says Ms. Guerra.  “We just couldn’t be more thankful for all of the blessings we have received from Meals on Wheels Central Texas.”

This story was featured in our 2019 Impact Report.