Irene, a participant of Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque, lives in a small apartment with her cute service dog named Nike. She moved to New Mexico a number of years ago with her husband, who was in the Air Force and stationed at Kirtland Air Base.
In 2003, Irene’s dream to become a certified nursing assistant was dashed by two separate auto accidents, one of which nearly took her life. At the same time, her marriage ended. She said, “Everything was just swiped away in the blink of an eye.”
The accidents have left Irene with seven herniated disks in her back, a hairline crack in her sternum, and constant pain in her right leg. She was homeless and staying in shelters until 2009, when she was deemed disabled. With the help of some caring friends who allowed her to stay with them occasionally, she was able to save money for her own apartment.
Irene lives on a very low income and doesn’t have much to spend on food. She learned of Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque through a friend. While Irene is able to purchase some breakfast items and a few snacks, Meals on Wheels provides her main meal for the day. If she didn’t receive it, her basic nutritional needs wouldn’t be met. Irene says, “Meals on Wheels is a lifesaver.”
As Irene and Nike waited patiently for the volunteers of Meals on Wheels to arrive, Nike paid particular attention to the door. Irene said he looked forward to the dog treat the volunteer often brings him.
She says, “I’m so very grateful for Meals on Wheels and for you who donate to support them. Thank you for understanding how important it is for people like me with economic hardships to receive a meal.” Nike barked in agreement.