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North Texas Meals on Wheels deliveries interrupted by winter storm

A close-up of a wet, icy, slushy street. Colorful storefronts stand out of focus in the background.
Yfat Yossifor
South Main Street is covered in snow and ice during a winter storm Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Fort Worth.

Story updated 2/2/23 at 5:05 p.m.

Icy road conditions have stopped Meals on Wheels deliveries across North Texas.

Sleet and cold temperatures have frozen the region solid all week, although Thursday saw the beginning of a thaw.

The dangerous road conditions forced local branches of Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to people who are elderly or disabled, to pause service to protect the safety of their staff and volunteer drivers.

Meals on Wheels branches in Tarrant, Dallas, Wichita, Johnson, Ellis, Navarro, Somervell, and Hood counties paused deliveries this week for thousands of clients, according to their Facebook pages.

That decision is “definitely not made lightly,” said Haley Seale, spokesperson for Meals on Wheels North Central Texas. Her branch, which operates in those counties south of the Metroplex, delivers meals to just over 900 elderly folks and people with disabilities.

But clients weren’t left without food.

Regular deliveries include shelf-stable meals in case of emergencies, so staff members sent out the alert that clients should break into those this week, Seale said. They also checked in with clients throughout the week.

“We're still making daily contact, so they're not just home alone, not having anybody to speak with. We'll spend as much time on the phone with them as they need," Seale said.

A bunch of packaged food is wrapped in clear cellophane. The wrap includes all shelf-stable foods, like applesauce, peanut butter, juice boxes and granola bars.
A shelf-stable meal packed by Meals on Wheels North Central Texas. They expect a winter storm each year and provide clients with these packages as emergency rations, said spokesperson Haley Seale.

That social element is another important service Meals on Wheels provides, said Philip Gonzalez, spokesperson for Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County. His branch has also been closed since Monday.

“Sometimes our volunteers are the only people that they see on a daily basis," he said.

Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County will remain closed Friday. Both Seale and Gonzalez explained that service interruptions aren't unheard of, but four or five days is a long one.

Gonzalez encouraged people to check on neighbors and loved ones during weather emergencies.

"It doesn't take much just to walk next door, make a phone call, whatever it may be," he said.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.