Brandon Meals on Wheels Celebrates Volunteers And Welcomes New Church To Its Program

Brandon Meals on Wheels appreciated its volunteers who deliver more than 200 hot meals per day. At the luncheon President Jim McNeil (left) thanked all of the volunteers, churches and organizations that support the Brandon Meals on Wheels program. Erin Messano (right) from the Osprey Observer and John Gio from Joia Restaurant were also recognized for sponsoring the Shoeboxes for Seniors program.

Every day more than 200 meals are prepared and delivered to local shut-ins in need of a kind word and a hot lunch. Fifteen participating churches make up the fabric of the Brandon Meals on Wheels program and thanks to the reach of its generous mission Presbyterian Church of Seffner has also recently come aboard.  In celebration of that fabric over 200 volunteers attended the annual Spring Luncheon at First Baptist Dover to be recognized for the charitable giving of their time.
Presbyterian Church of Seffner located at 1906 S. Lenna Ave. in
Seffner will begin preparing meals this upcoming April.  President Jim McNeil of First Presbyterian Brandon can’t be more grateful for the addition. “The blessing of another church and how happy we are to add another church. There are so many people in need that the more churches we have, the more people we can help.” With single churches serving in excess of 100 people a day, Brandon Meals on Wheels is need of more churches becoming involved in this worthwhile cause. McNeil explained it is an ongoing process.
Regarding the event, he said, “It was one of our better ones.”
Volunteer of the year was awarded to Marcia Goren of Bell Shoals Baptist Church including honorable mentions for Sondra and David Cone of First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Jack Holloway of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mary Lamar of St. Stephen Catholic Church and Diane Carver of BayLife Church.
 Others recognized include Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar in Riverview for the Shoebox for Seniors drive last Christmas which donated shoeboxes full of unopened, non-perishable items. John Gio, owner, expressed, “Meals on Wheels is a great organization. If anything I would rather give them a plaque, my hats off to them and a big heartfelt thank you.”
Erin Messano, advertising representative for Osprey Observer, was also recognized for her role in the shoebox drive. “Shoebox for Seniors was such an easy event that would mean a lot to the senior citizens, so we automatically hopped on board to help out because it was the right thing to do,” she said.
President Jim McNeill is responsible for recruiting churches who receive $500 for start-up costs. For more information to volunteer as a church or individually contact Melody Green at 689-8769, Minna Tickner at 685-7241 or Lil Foster, coordinator, at 651-1645.