Icy roads left some metro residents without access to warm meals, necessities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This week's ice storm put a big freeze on the community's access to services like Meals on Wheels and food banks. That means some of those people went without easy access to a good meal.

Lillie Henson lives alone in Kansas City. She's home-bound and can't get out to buy her groceries. That's why the 90-year-old KC woman relies on receiving a hot lunch every day from Meals on Wheels.

"They consist of meat, a salad, fruit and vegetables. It's just so nice what they do for us. I look forward to it. I even know their knock," Henson said.

However, for the last two days, volunteers with Meals on Wheels haven't knocked at Henson's door. The drivers couldn't deliver the hot meals because so many streets and roads were slick and potentially dangerous after the recent ice storm.

On Friday, FOX4's Robert Townsend asked the great-grandma if she missed receiving the meals this week.

"Oh, yes, I  have. Those meals help me get through the day. Like sometimes, I even save part of it for the rest of the day," she said.

Moreover, an additional 50 low-income people couldn't turn to Mid-America Regional Council's congregant centers on Thursday and Friday because the centers were also closed due to the weather.

"We're talking about a variety of people who depend on that service, too. Some are retirees, the unemployed, men and women who have a need. As for our Meals on Wheels drivers, it's really impossible to get our volunteers and our paid drivers out there during inclement weather. So when these type of things happen, you have clients impacted," said James Stowe, the director of aging and adult services for the Mid-America Regional Council.

The good news is, weather-permitting, the Meals On Wheels drivers should be back on the road on Monday, and that means Henson and her neighbors will get their meals without delay again.

"I'm glad about that and looking forward to it. They do a fantastic job," Henson said.

But FOX4 had a big surprise for the 90-year-old: bags of groceries from the Palestine Senior Activities Center and from FOX4.

"Oh my God, you guys really surprised me. Look at what's in these bags. I have rice, snacks, strawberries, grapes. Oh my bananas! I haven't had no bananas in a long time. I love you all. Thank you!" an elated Henson said.

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