Meridian resident helps home-bound by delivering meals
SPECIAL DELIVERY Deneane Nix, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, delivers a plate lunch to John E. Walker Sr. at his home. Nix enjoys building friendships with the elderly and disabled people she meets on her twice-a-month deliveries. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Dec. 9, 2001
Twice a month, Deneane Nix loads her red, Chrysler minivan with more than 40 hot meals and delivers them to home-bound people in Meridian.
With kind words, a willing ear and an infectious smile, she distributes dinners for the Meals on Wheels program to the elderly and disabled. The program is one of 18 agencies funded in part by United Way of East Mississippi.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, where she was a social worker, Nix said helping people feels better when it's done without a paycheck and the confines of red tape.
Nix and her husband, Dr. David Nix, an oncologist with Rush Medical Group, moved to Meridian three years ago. About six months later, Deneane began volunteering through her church, Central United Methodist, with the local Meals on Wheels program.
The program, which is funded by East Central Planning and Development District, Heart and Hand Inc. and the United Way of East Mississippi, is part of the Multi-County Community Service Agency.
Program needs volunteers
Mary Brooks, who has directed the local Meals on Wheels program for 17 years, has about 130 volunteers helping her. But she said she could use more people like Nix.
Besides Meals on Wheels, Nix also serves as a volunteer at LOVE's Kitchen, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and other activities with her church.
Nix usually delivers meals on the first and third Wednesday of the month.
More than meals
Nix's meal deliveries are not a hit-and-run affair. She said she always tries to stop, talk, say hello and ask people how they are doing.
Lena Mitchell, 76, is one of the elderly people on Nix's route. Although she has a son who lives with her, she said it feels good to know others are looking out for her as well.
Each of the Meals on Wheels deliveries include a meat, two vegetables, bread, dessert and a carton of milk. The program delivers more than 300 meals a day.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to help:
Contributions may be sent to United Way of East Mississippi, P.O. Box 5376, Meridian MS 39302.