Edmond Mobile Meals: A Craving for Connection

Written by: Maggie Murdock Nichols

I spent a lot of time at my best friend’s house growing up. She and her family lived in a historic brick home next door to a smaller home where her grandmother live. Her grandmother’s name was Beulah, but all referred to her as “Mom-mom”. I was always delighted to take a break from playing and go see mom-mom. I loved listening to her stories. At the time, Mom-mom was in her nineties, but she was spry and energetic, she never missed a Sunday at church. Her eyesight was failing, which kept her from being able to safely prepare food for herself. While playing outside, I noticed someone coming to visit who I knew wasn’t related to mom-mom and I also knew she didn’t go to our church. I saw that she carried meals in and would stay for a visit. Later in life I met Laura Grooms and discovered she was the visitor bringing meals and was a longtime volunteer of Edmond Mobile Meals. As a child, it struck me that someone would take time out of their day to show kindness to someone they weren’t otherwise connected to. 

In 2019, I had the opportunity to join Leadership Edmond through the Edmond Chamber of Commerce. We met monthly and learned more about our city. My favorite day of the program was the day we volunteered at Edmond Mobile Meals. While on a delivery route, I carried in warm food and sat across from Edmond citizens I’d otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. I discovered that my Edmond neighbors were, yes, in need of a nutritious meal, but a greater need came into focus, they craved connection.

Edmond Mobile Meals does more than feed bodies, they feel souls. 

I’ve found that longtime locals may know something about the Edmond Mobile Meals (EMM) or know someone who received meals, but haven’t been involved themselves. Those who are new to the city are possibly unaware of EMM’s existence and are certainly unaware of its impact. Currently, more than 260 meals are delivered per day and the number is growing. EMM is committed to not keeping a wait list. If someone calls in need of food, they add them to a route and food will be delivered as soon as the next day. 

Many of the volunteers with EMM have been involved with the organization for decades, their commitment unwavering. As those volunteers age, a new generation of volunteers should prepare. Volunteer positions need to be filled in both the kitchen and on delivery routes. Cristi, Tony and Cati maintain a seamless process. I continue to be impressed by the logistical organization and attention to detail inside the kitchen. 

Why take time out of your day to show kindness to someone you’re otherwise not connected to?  Perhaps the craving for connection is widespread. EMM offers an invitation to care for those who are otherwise out of sight. While yes, food is essential, I argue that connection is just as essential to well-being. The connections I’ve found through volunteering for EMM and serving as a board member lead me to feel even more deeply rooted in the community I love. Perhaps you’re craving deeper connection to your community or looking for a way to give back. Read more about becoming a volunteer and reach out with any questions!