Hundreds on waiting list for Meals on Wheels program

LAS VEGAS - According to Meals on Wheels America, one in every six seniors are food insecure, homebound or disabled and without regular access to food.

In Clark County, thousands rely on deliveries each week.

Meals on Wheels serves 2,100 clients every week but there are consistently 900 people on the waiting list for meals.

Those meals are prepared at the St. Vincent dining kitchen run by Catholic Charities.

There's a huge need for the food and an even larger need for just the interaction.

World renowned jazz musician Don Cunningham has no problem picking up a saxophone but after open heart surgery a couple months ago, he needed help.

"I coudn't do any of that," he said. "For at least four to six months, I couldn't lift up you know."

He considers himself a temporary client receiving meals while he recovers.

"They didn't even want me going up the steps. They said you sleep downstairs."

But for many of the 65 client's on delivery driver Chris Sinicrope's route, It's the only contact they'll have all week. A lot of times the deliveries don't just bring food, but hope and human interaction.

"You know where everything goes," Johnny Martin tells Chris Sinicrope.

"Oh I know where it goes. How's your day going?"

Johnny Martin is a Vietnam veteran receiving seven meals of flash frozen items and fresh fruit customized to his needs

"It's a godsend. I know that because people like me, you know they can't stand up and cook. The best I can do by myself is ramen noodles and that gets a little old real quick," Martin said.

Even Duke the dog doesn't get left out.

Sinicrope even brings dog food with him.

"Five of six minutes a day that he can spend when he comes over on Wednesday. That's more than my neighbors do in a year," Martin said. "I can't wait for him. I sit there anxiously and look out the window and wait for him to come down the side street."

"Pleasure doing business with you," Sinicrope says as he leaves.

"Too bad your visits aren't longer," Martin answers. "Cause you're the only person I get to talk to most of the time."

The Meals on Wheels program is awaiting approval of state funding but largely relies on donations from the community.

With more funding, they'd be able to serve more of the 900 people still on the waiting list.

If you would like to help the program, you can call (702) 387-2275 or click here for more information.

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