SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Not knowing how the roads are going to be the next morning after a winter storm can be frustrating, but for many senior adults who rely on the meals to be delivered to their homes, it can be quite a problem to maneuver.

Teena Jacobs, the lead for the South Side Senior Center, said her organization is constantly watching newscasts for weather updates and to ensure the senior center is three steps ahead.

“For our home-delivered meals, we have already planned ahead for that,” Jacobs said. “So, we have a box of — we call it shelf-stable meals — and so when our drivers can’t get out and deliver to them, then they already have meals.” 

Each box contains enough for six or seven meals. Jacobs says that should be enough until they can get the drivers on the roads again.

During last month’s winter storm, Jacobs said that although they were closed due to holidays, she gave them extra meals a week before and then again before the storm arrived so that the senior adults who needed the meals wouldn’t have to worry.

Mike Gollub, one of the drivers who deliver the meals to the senior adults who need them, said it’s more than just delivering meals; it’s about the friendships that come with it.

“I’ve made a lot of new friends and it’s something to really feel good about,” Gollub said. “It’s not only just delivering the meals. Probably as important to most folks is seeing somebody from the outside world and just socializing a little bit with them — that is as important as anything.”

Gollub said that he will deliver meals to about 10 homes and that each home he visits is another person he gets to have a conservation with.

The South Side Senior Center closes when the Springfield public school system announces that they are closed for the day.