PCPS assisting Meals on Wheels ProgramJuly 18, 2021 | Headlines
PCPS Cooks Food for Meals on Wheels Program
PONCA CITY — Jeff Denton, Director of Child Nutrition Services for Ponca City Public Schools, is now cooking meals for Ponca City Meals on Wheels, which serves at least 50 residents.
The program, established 40 years ago, has struggled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lana Jones, chairman of the program, said the community needed the program to continue and reached out to PCPS.
As a result, Denton is currently cooking the meals with out assistance, in the Po-Hi kitchen.
Others help package the food for delivery.
“I really wanted to help the community and felt I had no choice,” said Denton.
“When school starts next month it will probably be a little more challenging getting things ready, but we will also have more staff available to help. The meal takes about an hour to prepare and doesn’t cost the school district any money. This is handled as a catering-type job so it isn’t handled through the school’s child nutrition account.”
The program assists the elderly and seniors, no matter their income. Top priority is given to the homebound, which will be seniors who are unable to get food on their own and who can’t prepare their own meals.
Meals are served five days a week around noon. The charge is $3.50 per meal.
All food and ingredients are prepared fresh daily. “A lot of seniors in our community don’t have family to help them out,” said Jones. “If not for the graciousness of some of my drivers, they wouldn’t have anything.”
Jones said the Meals on Wheels program prefers seniors ages 65 and over. “We will also take people that have been injured or are disabled and need a little help.”
Cimarron Transit delivers the meals to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, where they are picked up for delivery. “This has really become a community partnership, and we are so very thankful for that,” said Jones. “Ponca City Public Schools has truly been a lifesaver for our program.”
Laura Corff, Transit Director for the Cimarron Public Transit System, said the organization is happy to help out. “We work with a variety of organizations and are always looking for partnerships to improve and help out in the community,” she said. “When Lana reached out and asked if we’d be interested in transporting the meals, I couldn’t say no.”
“Moving meals isn’t something Cimarron Transit would normally assist with but because of the pandemic so many people are struggling and in need of help,” she said.
For more information on the program call Jones at 580-767-9010.