TOP PHOTO: Ella Smith prepares her delicious barbecue for the hundreds of folks she feeds each week.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Ella Smith and Danny Vincent are on a ‘meals mission’ every morning, and the team accomplishes more before sun up than most do by lunch time.
Everyone’s heard of the Meals on Wheels program, and here in Campbell County, it’s Smith with the meals and Vincent with the wheels. The early rising duo cooks and delivers hundreds of meals a week to senior citizens.
Smith’s been chief cook for the Senior Center “Meals on Wheels” for nearly 10 years while Vincent’s been helping package the meals and delivering for about two years. Smith’s work day begins at 4:30am as she plans and cooks several hundred meals weekly.
The meticulous Smith prefers cooked meals. A typical meal is baked pork loin, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert. Though sometimes the meals are a bit lighter featuring pulled pork barbecue, chips, cole slaw and dessert.
Meals are cooked early and delivered early. “Just in case someone has an appointment, the early delivery allows seniors to eat before they go or simply reheat their meal and eat it later,” said Smith. “If folks are going to be gone, I ask them to leave a cooler outside with some ice, and I’ll leave their meal,” said Vincent.
Not much slows this team down. Icy and snowy weather may force some changes in delivery, but not even the pandemic could cool the meals and the wheels. “During the pandemic, we just kept working to make sure that people were fed,” said Smith. “Call Pat at the Senior Center to learn more about meals on wheels. Her phone number is 423.562.6672,” said Vincent.
Someone might not get a good meal that day if we weren’t cooking and carting,” said Smith. For the up and at ’em Smith and Vincent, it goes without saying that their mission of meals is a joy; not a job. ” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/16/2021-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)