SAN BENITO — Meals on Wheels is back in San Benito.
Amigos Del Valle, an organization responsible for feeding more than 500 homebound elderly in the Valley, will again be anchored here.
Thanks to the support of city officials and the sponsorship of the San Benito Housing Authority, the meals will be made in San Benito and available to local residents.
Officials and members of the community held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday to unveil the new location at the Vista Park housing community.
For a long time the program had been located in Harlingen, where San Benito residents had to go for their meals.
But after much insistence by concerned city officials, the program is now again centered in San Benito. Mayor Celeste Sanchez said every day citizens would call asking when the program would move back to San Benito.
One woman in particular calls every day, she said.
“They want to have breakfast and lunch in San Benito. They don’t want to go to Harlingen every day,” she said. “This is where they want to be and aside from that, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program.”
Amigos Del Valle’s Wellness Programs focus on serving people who are sick and need nutritious food to support their medical treatment. They believe that nutritious food is medicine. For people fighting illness, good nutrition can help them heal, get stronger and lead healthier lives, according to their website.
Amigos Board Chairman Richard Molina said there are a lot of people who depend on the program.
“This is their life. This is something that is very important for them. They come in here, grab a meal. Maybe they’re depressed and don’t have anything going on,” Molina said. “These centers do a lot for a lot of people.”
The program provides nutritious meals to people living with critical illnesses. Meals are available for pickup. For clients who are homebound, they offer home-delivered meals.
All clients receive a nutrition and wellness assessment from the program’s registered dietitians when starting service.
Dietitians also are available for regular check-ins and advice.
Aside from food, Amigos Del Valle also coordinates various daily activities, such as social games. There also are annual events conducted by Amigos Del Valle, such as a Valentine’s Day dance.
All of these activities are available for the participant.
The goal was to bring it back to San Benito, said Amigos Del Valle Executive Director Alex Guerra.
“The meals are prepared here for the entire Valley, so you’re talking about more than 500 meals being distributed daily,” he said.
The program is available to persons who meet the moderate- to low-income range (80 percent or less of the median income).
In San Benito, more than 51 percent of the elderly meet
this requirement. Elderly is defined as 62 years or older by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
There will be an Amigos Del Valle representative on site every day at the Vista Park Development, 100 Cornejo Drive.
Any potential participant can make an application on site.
For further information, contact Mary Garza at 956-213-9400, ext. 3209.
The website is www.advrgv.org.