Meals on Wheels: For Saint Paul Couple, Diabetes-Friendly Meal Deliveries Were ‘Just a Wonderful Experience’
Wilder Meals on Wheels became a welcomed presence at Maribeth and Roosevelt Jackson’s home after Roosevelt was diagnosed with diabetes and cancer in 2012.
Roosevelt, who passed away in November 2018 at 77, needed to adopt a new diet to manage his illnesses, but he wasn’t happy about the change because he loved fried food. Maribeth didn’t look forward to preparing special meals for her husband, either. “I’ll just be honest,” Maribeth says. “I don’t like to cook.”
A dietician at the Veterans Affairs medical center, where Roosevelt, a Vietnam veteran, was being treated, recommended Meals on Wheels as a potential solution for Roosevelt’s dietary needs.
Maribeth was pleasantly surprised to learn that Meals on Wheels offers versions of its made-from-scratch, healthy meals specifically for people with diabetes and other health needs. Even better, the meals were affordable – and volunteers delivered the food to the Jacksons’ Saint Paul home.
“The food was good, and it was what he needed,” Maribeth says.
Meals on Wheels Benefits Extend Beyond Nutrition
For many older people or people with chronic health conditions, Meals on Wheels starts as a convenient way to receive nutritious meals, but the benefits often extend beyond lunch. “It can affect people’s lives in ways that are much larger than just a meal,” says Christine Miller, Meals on Wheels coordinator at the Wilder Community Center for Aging.
Maribeth and Roosevelt valued the service during their last years together. Maribeth says Roosevelt didn’t like the idea of Meals on Wheels at first, but he was soon waiting on the porch when he knew volunteers would arrive at their Saint Paul home. “They were always so pleasant,” Maribeth says of Meals on Wheels volunteers. “Each couple that came was nicer than the one before.”
Maribeth, meanwhile, was working from 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. six days a week as a dispatch coordinator for Warner Stellian. She made breakfast but had limited time to prepare other meals. Knowing that Roosevelt’s dietary needs were met was a relief.
Roosevelt received Meals on Wheels for several years, until Maribeth retired and was able to cook more at home. Looking back, Maribeth says Meals on Wheels meant a lot to both of them. “It was just a wonderful experience,” she says.