Meals on Wheels of Texoma told Grayson County commissioners Tuesday about its partnership with Texoma Area Paratransit System to serve those who need help during the ongoing pandemic.

The partnership provides emergency meals to the home-bound, at-risk segment, the senior population in Grayson County.

"The additional assistance being provided by TAPS is a game changer for us, especially in this uncertain climate," said Meals on Wheels Executive Director Greg Pittman in a written release. "Our immediate goal is to provide seven additional meals, (the equivalent of one week’s worth of prepared food), to every client as soon as possible. These additional meals serve as a safety net to protect against food supply chain interruptions and other conceivable challenges," he added.

TAPS General Manager Josh Walker told commissioners that the current conditions have decreased TAPS ridership. He said he had employees who needed people to serve so he contacted Meals on Wheels to inquire if TAPS could assist in meal deliveries.

"TAPS and Meals on Wheels both provide critical services to the community and we share a common goal of helping those in need. It made sense for our organizations to collaborate," said Walker in the statement.

He said TAPS leadership was eager to assist in the project. He said they launched the program in Grayson County because of the funding available and the population logistics and need.There are plans to expand to Fannin and Cooke counties as soon as possible.

Grayson County Judge Bill Magers, who serves as the vice chairman for TAPS said, "Both TAPS and Meals on Wheels provide basic services- transportation and food- to the elderly and those in need. Many of Meals on Wheels volunteers are older, at-risk individuals. We want our seniors to stay safe while following the recommendations of our national, state and local leaders without having to go hungry. This partnership will accomplish this objective."

Pittman said the ultimate goal is to deliver 12,000 meals to its clients in all three counties.

MOWOT Board Member and Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James added, "This is a huge undertaking, and the expanded capacity afforded by the TAPS transit vehicles will allow us to distribute these meals more quickly than would otherwise be possible."

The project is expected to be completed by early June.

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