Meals on Wheels recipient Mary is slow to answer the door, but when she does, you are immediately captivated by her bright smile and contagious personality.

Her hands are withered by arthritis and she walks with a noticeable limp. Her sight and hearing have also declined in the recent years. Her physical ailments confine her to her north Houston home, but they do not dampen her lively spirit. Pictures of her life decorate her walls: photos of her daughter, her three nieces and two nephews, pictures of family reunions, photos with Mayor Annise Parker, and pictures of her dog, 2-year-old terrier mix Lil’ Joe.

For Mary, 83, what began as a love for food became a career. As a child, she spent a lot of time cooking with her mother for her siblings and other family members who lived close by. After moving from Alexandria, she settled in Houston’s 5th ward, and worked for 37 years at Dutch Kettle in downtown Houston.
In the late 1980s, Mary began working at a home healthcare facility. She would rise at 6 a.m. every morning to prepare meals for her elderly clients in their homes. She loved her work because it allowed her to connect with people in a positive way.

Mary never imagined she would one day be unable to cook meals for herself. “I don’t cook often, because I’m scared I’ll fall in the kitchen. I’m so grateful, that my driver takes care of me. She’s wonderful; she’s sweet and the meals are really good.”

Mary is alone now. During the past several years she has rarely left her home, for the exception of monthly doctor’s visits. It is painful for her to stand; even for short periods of time. Even so, she remains positive and tries to enjoy life as much as possible. She enjoys passing the time on her porch, greeting neighbors that walk by.

Mary is not unlike thousands of our meal recipients. She lived a fulfilling life, but now spends most of her time alone. Her main interaction each day is from her Meals on Wheels driver.
We invite you to join our family of friends and help keep our senior’s spirits vibrant with the help of a nutritious meal. For more information on how you can help a senior, click here.