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Rolling with Meals on Wheels

Steve Ranson
sranson@lahontanvalleynews.com
Driver Buster Pierce, left, explains to Dona Eveat the capabilities of the new truck that delivers meals to senior citizens.
STEVE RANSON / SRANSON@LAHONTANVALLEYNEWS.COM |

The Churchill County Senior Center took a big step Friday with the unveiling of a new vehicle to deliver meals to the area’s elderly residents.

The center conducted a ribbon cutting to launch a new truck for Meals on Wheels, a service for about 80-90 seniors.

“Right now, we serve more than a 1,000 meals a month than we did the same time last year,” said Executive Director Jamie Lee.

She said the county’s population is aging and living longer, so the need for meals at home is increasing.

“We want to improve the quality of life in Fallon, and we want them to stay in their homes as long as possible.

Lee said the 2013 Ford F150 truck with a customized food delivery insert from Delivery Concepts of California, cost $30,000. She said the estates of Olive Gummow and Anna Rebol made the purchase possible, and the truck, which replaces a 1999 Ford Ranger, was purchased from Fallon Auto Mall.

Buster Pierce, who delivers the meals Monday-Friday to homebound seniors, said he could carry up to 100 meals in a trip. All meals are cooked at the senior center’s kitchen. If there is a holiday or weekend, Pierce delivers additional frozen meals for the time the center is closed.

On Thanksgiving and Christmas, Pierce said Navy volunteers and the American Legion Post 16 in Fallon volunteers to drop off holiday meals.

The Meals on Wheels program emerged through the efforts of Frances Aguirre, a volunteer at the senior center and a member of the local Soroptimists. Lee said Aguirre was very instrumental in improving the quality of life for Churchill County seniors.

Two of Aguirre’s grandchildren said Frances Aguirre cared greatly for the elderly.

“From the beginning, her favorite thing was greeting people when they came in,” said Frances Aguirre, named for her grandmother.

Emma Aguirre said her grandmother made a difference.

“She wanted to make sure seniors were well taken care of and not left out or alone,” she added.

Not only did a handful of local dignitaries and board members attended the ribbon cutting but business leaders also took part in the ceremony.

Doug Drost, a certified financial planner for Edward Jones in Fallon, became the first sponsor to purchase meals. Lee said Drost purchased 50 meals, which cost $8 each.

“We’re looking for other businesses to help out,” Lee said.