I want to tell you about our Meals on Wheels program. My friend, Rita, and I delivered meals to our local elderly/shut-ins every Tuesday for many years. I know many donít know about this program. If they know anything about it at all, they think itís a way to get some hot meals to the elderly every day. And this is true.

But itís a lot more than that. One Tuesday morning, Rita and I were delivering the meals, just like we always did. We drove up to an elderly gentlemanís home and rang his doorbell. He didnít come to the door, so I called him (we have their numbers on our list.) We had called him a few times before, and he always answered and said that he was in the back and didnít hear us. This time ... nothing.

We finished our route and took his meal back to the Ottawa Senior Center. Florene Hart, the site manager, was very surprised because this gentleman always let her know if he was going to be away and not to deliver a meal that day. Hart got ahold of the person listed as the emergency contact. This person went to the gentlemanís home and went inside. This elderly gentleman was there ... but he had passed away.

Just think ó if we delivered to him on Monday only, he could have laid there for a week before we checked on him again.

The Meals on Wheels program does a lot more than deliver meals. We check on these folks every day. It is important we have enough funds to keep this program going.

Know what you can do? Write, email or call everyone of our representatives in Topeka. They need to hear from all of us so they will know how important this is to everyone in this area.

ó Pat Atchison, Ottawa