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50 for 50

 




50 for 50

To celebrate our 50 year anniversary, we will highlight 50 people, organizations, and groups who have influenced or made an impact in the organization over the past 50 years.These individuals have supported our mission to deliver more than a meal and we wouldn't be here today without them! 

Jessica Behringer | #20

 



The 20th person in our 50 for 50 series is Jessica Behringer, Director of Development & Marketing.

Jessica came to Meals For The Elderly in October 2020 with 9 years of experience in higher education. She wanted to apply her marketing skills to a good cause, and admired the mission of MFTE and its impact on the community. She adapted to many challenges in her first year when events had to change due to the pandemic.

Jessica handles all marketing aspects of the organization, such as managing the website, social media, and other digital marketing, as well as creating brochures, flyers, and other print material for the organization and other departments. She organizes the 2 large fundraising events each year and this year, she is in charge of the 50th Anniversary Gala event in November. She likes attending community events to represent MFTE and collaborating with other non-profit organizations in the community to build relationships.

Jessica has a husband of 13 years, BJ, and 2 children, Wyatt and Logan. BJ volunteers at the annual Clay Shoot event, and Wyatt and Logan have decorated lunch sacks and helped with deliveries. She also serves as the Registrar at the San Angelo Soccer Association and enjoys reading, doing puzzles, and watching football in her spare time.

We are grateful for Jessica's work at Meals For The Elderly. She brings new ideas to Marketing and Event Planning and plans to stay with the organization for many more years. She is always ready to help wherever needed and has a true passion for non-profits and improving our community.

 

 

MFTE Kitchen Staff | #19

 



The 19th group in our 50 for 50 series is our Meals For The Elderly kitchen staff (both past and present).

Since the beginning, our kitchen staff has been there to make sure we have food for our recipients every day. When we started, it was one person that shopped for ingredients, planned meals, and cooked and prepared the meals out of a standard sized kitchen. 

Today, we have 7 people on our kitchen staff. They arrive at our building between 4:30 - 5:30 am every Monday - Friday to begin cooking meals. They prepare enough food to make 500-600 meals each day and will sometimes cook extra meals to freeze to prepare for upcoming holiday closures. Our kitchen managers also help plan the meals and order food to give our recipients a healthy variety of menus. 

While they work behind the scenes, we know we wouldn't be able to fulfill our mission without them. They are the front lines making sure our recipients have food every single day. 

We are so grateful for our kitchen staff! We appreciate everyone who has worked for us in the past as well as everyone who currently works in our kitchen. Their continued dedication to Meals For The Elderly has helped us reach this 50-year milestone and we know they will help lead us to 50 more years of service! 

Patsy Brunson | #18

The 18th person in our 50 for 50 series is Patsy Brunson, a Meals For The Elderly recipient.

Patsy was a teacher for over 31 years. She worked at Region 15 where she was in charge of a program that spanned the entire region. After leaving Region 15, she bought and operated the Gingerbread House daycare. She finished her teaching career at Glenmore before she retired. She adores the kids she taught and interacted with over the years and has many stories and fond memories of teaching them.

She is so grateful to receive meals from Meals For The Elderly. Her doctor was the one who referred her to the program. She was having health issues and was forced to stay at home. The meals allow her to be able to get a nutritious meal every day since she isn’t able to get out.  She enjoys the food and said she always finishes everything. She’s always full after eating the meal and it’s the perfect portion for what she needs.

She said the volunteers are always happy when they come to the door and they make her happy. She can name all the volunteers she regularly sees throughout the week and greets them with a smile. One volunteer even helped her install a doorbell and pick out the tune.

 Patsy turned 86 in January and loved getting the birthday bag from Meals For The Elderly.  Patsy was married to her husband for 63 years before he passed away and they raised 3 children together. She has 5 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We are so grateful to help recipients like Patsy live more independently. She helped so many children and adults when she was teaching, and we love being able to give back to her!

Volunteer Memorial | #17

 

For our 17th 50 for 50, We would like to remember and honor volunteers we have lost over the years.

These volunteers were regular faces in the organization and served Meals For The Elderly for at least 5 years. This list includes all volunteers we were aware of up until March 1, 2024. We created this list to the best of our ability based on the records we have. If there is someone we missed, please reach out to us directly so we can properly recognize them and their service. 

We appreciate all that they have done for us. They are not forgotten and will forever be remembered on a Memorial Plaque that hangs in the MFTE building.


 

Burt Latham
Carl Lange
Mason Green
Jerry Bruner
Jim Meier
Maxine Bunyard
Ed Christensen
Bill & Nita Archer
Madie Huckaby
Garland Freeze
Tina Bush
Paul Martin
Nina Baty
Kay Good
Jim Calvert
Donna Robison
Gene & Jo Cook
Mary Lou Taylor

Ben Sargent
Jenny Sakellariou
Glen Shultz
Dela Jean Terrill
Alberta Trubenstein
Frances & John South
Will Allen
Lois Stanley
Hazel Dooley
Wilma Cunningham
Domingo Quintela, Jr.
Kaye Pfluger
Ray Favre
Dick Funk
John M. Jost, Jr.
Morgan Riley
Connie Jeffers

Wanda Hudson | #16

The 16th person in our 50 for 50 series is Wanda Hudson.

Wanda started volunteering with Meals in 2011. She is here every Thursday assiting our Volunteer Director, Kelly. Wanda helps assign drivers to routes for the next week and calls volunteers to help fill any routes we have open. She also helps coordinate and drive a route once a month with Immanuel Baptist Church. 

She is a very familar face and voice around the office and her laughter and love for life is contagious. She loves calling volunteers and is always talking with them to see how they are doing. She was named  Volunteer of the Year in 2022 at our first Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Her name is on a plaque that hangs in our hallway with that honor. 

Wanda was unable to volunteer for several months this last year and her presence was missed! Several other volunteers, Meals Staff, and many others checked on her regularly and she thanks everyone for the encouragement and kind words. 

We are so excited to have Wanda back at the office with us! We look forward to seeing her on Thursdays and volunteers enjoy hearing her voice when she calls. We are truly grateful for her dedication and service to Meals and we love having her volunteering in the office every week! 

Roger & Anna Margaret Anderson| #15

The 15th couple in our 50 for 50 series is Roger and Ann Margaret Anderson. 

Roger and Anna Margaret have a regular route they drive every Tuesday. They started volunteering with Meals For The Elderly in 1997 with St. Paul Church. They started driving with us full time when they retired. They have a family history of volunteering with MFTE as both of their parents were volunteers as well.

Anna Margaret said MFTE is her favorite place to volunteer. She said the people are always so nice and helpful, and she tells everyone about Meals For The Elderly when they are looking for volunteer opportunities. 

Roger and Anna Margaret love having a regular route because they get to see the same people every week and they get attached. They said it's like checking in on friend because they know the recipients on their route so well. One recipient even gave them cookies. 

We are so appreciative of volunteers like Roger and Anna Margaret. Their dedication and love for the recipients they deliver to is evident. We are so lucky to have them volunteer with us and we know our reicpients appreciate them as well! 

Kelly Usry| #14

The 14th person in our 50 for 50 series is Volunteer Director, Kelly Usry.

Kelly started as a volunteer with Meals For The Elderly when she served as the church coordinator for her church in 2015. By November of 2015, she was volunteering regularly in the MFTE office helping with all areas including volunteer services, marketing, accounting, and recipient services. 

She was hired as a part time office support in June 2017 and then as the Full-Time Volunteer Director in 2017. She evaluates volunteer applications and takes careful consideration in what applicants are looking for in their volunteer experience to make the best placement possible. She oversees and places volunteers as pet food drivers, sack lunch decorators, meal expeditors, kitchen support and special event volunteers. She also coordinates and oversees the different groups and organizations that help throughout the year with packaging sack lunches, breakfast bags, holiday, and emergency meals for our recipients.  More than 3000 volunteers help support MFTE each year.

She has been married for 27 years to her husband Johnny and has 2 children, Emily and stepson Caleb (wife Charley). Emily, Caleb and Charley have all volunteered at our various events, while the company that Johnny works for has been delivering meals for 30 years.

We are so thankful to have Kelly and the volunteers love working with her. She has personally driven every in-town route at least once, and will step up and deliver when a volunteer isn't able to make it. She is essential to our daily operations and we love having her on staff! 

Johnny Garza| #13

The 13th person in our 50 for 50 series is our current Board Vice President, Johnny Garza.

Johnny started delivering meals with Meals For The Elderly in 1989 while he was serving in the miltary. Work took him away from San Angelo in 1991, but he came back after he retired from the military in 1993 and started delivering again from 1994-1996. He started working in Civil Service at GoodFellow Air Force Base and retired again in 2016 after a 40 year career with the United States Air Force. 

Johnny said he has always had a passion for volunteering and helping those who are in need or unable to help themselves. He joined the MFTE Board in 2019 and has served on various committees, including on the Executive Board as Treasurer, and our current Vice President. He still volunteers in distribution when we need it.

Johnny is very involved with Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart where he is the Business Manager. He and his wife Patricia have 4 kids and 5 grandkids, who he enjoys spending time with. 

We are so thankful to have Johnny on our Board. His passion for serving others is evident and he brings years of knowledge to the organization. We appreciation everything he has done for us! 

Lori Rodriguez| #12

The 12th person in our 50 for 50 series is Lori Rodriguez, Director of Recipient Services at Meals For The Elderly. 

Lori started with MFTE as a Social Work field student in the Fall of 2013 and did such a good job she was asked to stay for the summer. She joined as a full time staff member in the Spring of 2015. While working at MFTE, she received her Masters in Social Work from UT Arlington. 

As the Director of Recipient Services, Lori processes applications, performs home visits and reassessments with recipients. She takes care of recipient issues and concerns and makes referrals or finds resources to ensure that the needs of our recipients are being met while remaining at home. During her time at MFTE she has mentored multiple Social Work Field Students from Angelo State University. Lori is also a member of the Regional Advisory Committee on Aging for the Area Agency on Aging. 

Her big event of the year is our Seniors Still Believe Event (held each November). She has expanded and refined the campaign over the years and just last year we were able to give out over 700 Christmas Gifts thanks to her hard work and dedication. 

Outside of MFTE, she is very involved with her church. She has been married to her husband Joe for 17 years and has 3 children, Candace, Micah, and Jonah. Her husband and children are also volunteers at MFTE, with Joe having a regular route each week. We are so thankful to have Lori on our staff and we know our recipients are in good hands with her at the head of the department! 

Chase Bruton| #11

The 11th person in our 50 for 50 series is Chase Bruton, former MFTE Board Member and President.

Chase served on the MFTE Board from 2012 - 2022 and was Board President in 2019 and 2020. 

While serving on the board, he was the Event Chair for our annual Clayshoot fundraiser and helped it grow over the 10 years he oversaw it. He is still involved with our ClayShoot as he helps emcee the event during the live auction. The Clayshoot is our largest fundraising event of the year thanks to Chase and his help making it successful.

Chase is very involved in the community as he is currently serving as Board President of the Northern Little League Association. He also has his own real estate business and enjoys spending time with his kids in various extracurricular activities.

We are so thankful for Chase and his service to Meals For The Elderly and his dedication to our Clayshoot event. He paved the way to the continued success of this event and we appreciate all he has done for us over the 10 years he served on the board. 

Jeff Smith| #10

The 10th person in our 50 for 50 series is one of our board members, Jeff Smith. 

Jeff has been volunteering for Meals For The Elderly for over 5 years and joined the board in 2023. He is the Committee Chair for our 50th Anniversary Celebration Event and still delivers weekly for us as well. 

In addition to being involved with MFTE, Jeff owns his own business, is a hospice care consultant at Gentiva Hospice, is a fitness instructor at Crunch Fitness, and is the Executive Walk Chair for the San Angelo Walk to End Alzheimers. He is also currently working on a Doctorate degree in Health Care Administration. 

Jeff was honored as a 20 under 40 for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce in 2023. He has a passion for philanthropy and is dedicated to giving back to our community.

We are so grateful to have him on our board and his ideas and enthusiasm allows us to better serve our recipients and fulfill our mission and will ensure we are able to continue for another 50 years!  


Anniebelle Samuel| #9

 

The 9th person in our 50 for 50 series is Anniebelle Samuel, an MFTE Recipient. 

Anniebelle is our oldest recipient on our program at 101 years old and she has been receiving meals for over 10 years. She has lived in her current house for over 50 years and she ran a beauty salon out of the back of her home for over 40 years. She says she loves being busy so when she wasn't working in her beauty salon, she was going to night school to further her education, or working as a seamstress making men's and women's clothing. 

Her and her husband were married for over 50 years before he passed away. Anniebelle has 4 grandchildren, and 6 greatgrandchildren with several living in her house with her. 

Anniebelle said she loves getting meals and always eats everything. She has gotten to know many of the volunteers and she even had some attend her 101st birthday last year. 

We do what we do every day to serve people like Anniebelle and she is just one of many amazing recipients we have on our program. She is a tesitiment to how good nutrition and being able to stay in her own home can allow her to reach milestones like 101, and we hope she has a very happy 102 birthday in June! 

Jessica Balliew| #8

The 8th person in our 50 for 50 series is Jessica Balliew - our current Board President. 

Jessica started volunteering with Meals For The Elderly in 2015 when she would help pack sack lunches for the kitchen and she joined the board the same year. She has served on the board for the past 8 years and has served on multiple committees and in various leadership capacities on the board.

A former middle school educator, her passion for health and wellness lead her to her current career at Shannon Health Club. Her leadership, passion and expertise have proven a vital asset for the organization as we continue to grow and thrive throughout the communities we serve. 

We are so thankful to have people like Jessica on our Board of Directors and we truly appreciate her continued leadership and support! 

 


Steve & Eileen Cole| #7

The 7th couple in our 50 for 50 series is Steve and Eileen Cole. 

Steve and Eileen are familiar faces around the MFTE office every week. Steve has been volunteering for 5 years and is here at 5:00 am every Monday-Wednesday to help in the kitchen. Eileen has been volunteering for 4 years and helps with distribution 3 days a week. When they aren't at MFTE, Steve and Eileen both volunteer at the Wesley Soup Kitchen.

Steve won the Volunteer of the Year award at our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon in 2023. We are so thankful for Steve and Eileen and their continued support of Meals For The Elderly.

We wouldn't be able to operate without dedicated volunteers like Steve and Eileen and we truly appreciate everything they do! 

 


Charlyn Ocker| #6

The 6th person in our 50 for 50 series is Charlyn Ocker.

Charlyn was one of the very first program directors for Meals For The Elderly. She was hired in 1981,  sharing program director duties with Charlotte Barton. Charlyn took on full time program duties in 1985 when Charlotte Barton left. 

Charlyn served as CEO of Meals For The Elderly for over 40 years. She was instrumental to the success of the program. She facilitated the construction and move to the new building, and the additional add on to that building. She applied for the National Association of Meal Program (now Meals on Wheels) so we would be an affiliate program. She won multiple awards and served on various boards to advocate for our homebound recipients. Her dedication and hard work assured the success of Meals For The Elderly and allowed us to celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year.

Charlyn retired in May 2020. She enjoys spending time with her grandkids and going on multiple cruises. We thank her again for all that she did for Meals For The Elderly! 


Ray Favre| #5

The 5th person in our 50 for 50 series is Ray Favre.

 

Ray was a longtime member of the East Angelo Lions Club and loved giving back to the community. He helped install doorbells for Meals For The Elderly recipients before he started volunteering for us in 2015.


Ray had a regular route and served as a driver for over 7 years. He was passionate about volunteering and enjoyed delivering meals to recipients. He would call the office often to see if we had any extra routes he could pick up and was one of our go to substitute drivers on top of his regular route. 

After serving as a volunteer, Ray recieved meals before he passed away in August 2023. We appreciate his service to MFTE and all that he did for our community. He was a dedicated volunteer that won't be forgotten. 

 

 

Concho Pearls Lions Club| #4

The fourth group in our 50 for 50 series is the Concho Pearls Lions Club

The Concho Pearls Lions Club was originally the East Angelo Lioness Club. In 1992, they gained their charter as the Concho Pearls Lions Club operating under the East Angelo Lions Club. 

The East Angelo Lionesses started volunteering with Meals For The Elderly in 1987. Back then, we were delivering about 240 meals per day. The East Angelo Lioness Club would come into the building and make sandwiches that were sent out in the lunch sacks we delievered to help our recipients get through the weekend. 

Today, the Concho Pearls Lions Club is continuing its service to Meals For The Elderly. They are in our building every Tuesday making over 650 sandwiches that we send out. These amazing ladies are a blessing to our organization and we truly appreciate their dedication and support of our mission and our organization! 

 

San Angelo ISD Bridge Program| #3



The fourth group in our 50 for 50 series is the San Angelo ISD Bridge Program (Formerly 18+)

Students in this program gain work experience after graduation by volunteering at various buisnesses around town. This wonderful group of students volunteers at Meals in the mornings during regular school days. They decorate bags, bag snack, and do various other duties around the office as needed. 

The students are an absolute joy to have in the office and we love seeing their smiling faces every day. Tawnya, their Job Coach, does amazing work with them. We appreciate their service to Meals For The Elderly! 

 

 

 

Hazel Dooley| #2

The second person in our 50 for 50 series is Hazel Dooley, who was also instrumental in the implementation of our program.

Before joining Meals For The Elderly, Hazel was a teacher for many years and served as the director for the Texas A&M Expanded Nutrition program until the program completed it's mission in 1973.  

After the A&M Program was complete, Hazel took her nutrition expertise and joined the Meals For The Elderly team. She worked with Mary Alice to try and secure funding for the program.

Hazel served as the first dietician and director for the program when it operated out of the old barracks building. She would shop for groceries, plan the meals, set up routes, get volunteers, and contact merchants and individuals for donated items needed in the kitchen. 

After the program was set up, Mrs. Dooley was given an opportunity to go back to teaching. She taught for 2 more years before retiring. She passed away in February 2020 at the age of 102. 

While Mrs.Dooley wasn't with the program for long, she still made a lasting impact as her work at the beginning, set the program up for long lasting future success. 

 

Mary Alice Rodgers | #1

The first person in our 50 for 50 series is Mary Alice Rodgers, founder of Meals For The Elderly. We would not be an organization without her. 

Mary Alice had a vision of delivering hot meals to the homebound elderly in San Angelo 5 days a week. She worked tirelessly to make this a reality and secure funding for the program by attending city council and county commissioner meetings as well as appearing on the local news station. 

Her vision came true in 1974 when 16 recipients recieved lunch meals delivered to them by 4 volunteers. She continued to be active in the program until she became ill and attended her last board meeting in July, 1982. She passed away in 1991 but her memory will live on forever in the organization she helped create.