Our Response to COVID-19

“It Makes Me Feel Kind of Special”

January 5, 2021

“I just fell in love with them.  They’re like family,” 97-year-old Maggie Bedford says of the dedicated Meals on Wheels Central Texas volunteers who deliver nutritious meals to her North Austin home.

Ms. Bedford certainly relies on the food they bring.  “It means I’m going to have at least one good meal that day.  I don’t feel like I’m going to go hungry,” she explains.  But she also relishes the visits from volunteers.  Ms. Bedford, who moved to Austin in 1944 to attend beauty college, lives alone and she welcomes the company.

MOWCTX volunteer Barbara Alfred began delivering hot meals and warm smiles to Ms. Bedford every Tuesday five years ago.  To say the two have grown close is an understatement.  “I lost my mother in 2013.  {Ms. Bedford} is like a mom to me.  She is just the sweetest soul,” says Ms. Alfred.  “Tuesdays were just precious to me.  There were always lots of smiles and hugs.  When the pandemic hit, it threw me for a loop.”

That’s because our agency pivoted from daily meal deliveries to deliveries of two weeks’ worth of meals every other Friday in order to safeguard the health of our clients and volunteers. So no more Tuesdays with Ms. Bedford until it’s safe to resume daily service.  And yet, the two friends continue to visit with one another on a weekly basis - only these days, it’s by phone.  Ms. Alfred volunteers for our Care Calls program, which provides frequent friendly phone calls to our homebound clients.  “I get to talk to her again,” says Ms. Alfred.

Asked what the phone calls mean to her, Ms. Bedford replies “she asks me how I’m doing.  She tells me she looks forward to seeing me again after the pandemic.  It makes me feel kind of special.”