Meals on Wheels helping more seniors, refugees needing services this holiday season

25% more seniors have reached out for help from Meals on Wheels this year and Interfaith Ministries says it's also helping an influx of refugees from war-torn countries.  

High inflation is putting more pressure on non-profits to deliver needed services this holiday season.

"Appreciate them and the support very well, really great," said Lutfullah Hadid.

Hadid and his three-year-old son Mohammad are refugees from Afghanistan.

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Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston says it has had a significant increase this year in refugees needing help resettling in Houston. That includes 1,736 new refugees, bringing the total they're helping to 4322.  They're from 20 countries, mostly Afghanistan and Cuba, and twenty recent refugees from Ukraine.

"We’re helping them find apartment homes, schools, healthcare. But after that time, people have continued needs," said Martin Cominsky, President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries.

"It has pictures of the kids. We went to a wedding in Mexico," said senior Norma Garcia, showing a mug with pictures of her grandchildren to her Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer.  

These volunteers often get to enjoy family stories, as they deliver free Meals on Wheels to 25% more seniors this year.

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"They bring us food, as sometimes we can’t afford it. It helps a lot," said senior Amado Garcia.

In fact, demand is so great in Galveston County, Interfaith Ministries recently opened a new office in LaMarque to expand their services.

"This inflationary time is really making it hard to spread those dollars to get everything people need for the holiday," said Cominsky.  

That growing need includes more people with pets, too.


"A dog’s braid dog toy.  These were made by volunteers with love," said Alexis Haynes with aniMeals, delivering dog toys and food and to the Garcias.    

"They’re very concerned, as with any parent that their pet has food and adequate health care," said Haynes.

Interfaith Ministries is hoping the community will be able to step up with financial donations or by fulfilling families' wishlists, so they can continue to serve the growing need this holiday season.