Name: Debbie King
Title: Director of Nutrition Services
Organization: Meals & Wheels of Waco
How did you become interested in this work?
When the Director of Nutrition Services for Meals on Wheels Waco job was posted, I breezed by it several times before a couple of my colleagues told me I should apply as they felt I would be a perfect fit. My friends were correct, it has been a great job.
What drives your passion?
I became passionate about nutrition when I took a nutrition class as an elective. My passion for public policy started much younger as my Dad would read the evening paper just before dinner and then share the news of the day. Living at the time in Carson City, Nevada, I rode my bike by the governor’s mansion, did Easter egg hunts on the lawn around the State Capitol, and so my young mind knew where the people engaged in state politics lived and worked which kept me curious to this day.
Does your organization offer any programs other than home meal delivery? If so, what are they?
Yes. We offer transportation, congregate meals, pet meals and Groceries to go.
We coordinate with local handyman services to provide handicap access in and out of houses, repair electric, plumbing and other services
What’s the biggest challenge in your work?
Food Safety – the clients believe that how they store food all their lives works so they ask “why put my meal in the refrigerator when I’m going to eat it at supper (5 hours later).
Volunteers believe that putting hot plates and cold milk in the same t-shirt bag is perfectly safe, even when they end up locking their keys in the car for over an hour on a 100 degree day.
What’s the best advice that you have ever received?
Life is curly; don’t try to straighten it out. (Susan Scott)
Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?
Every time a client thanks me for delivering a meal and says they are so grateful to get them I realize that I am doing a job that inspires me to fight for funding to keep feeding seniors.