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Whether you just want to chat or need a little gardening help, Leland’s your man. Leland’s been receiving meals from CES Meals on Wheels for about 10 years and is a favorite of the volunteers. He lives alone and needs a little help with getting nutritious food because he does not have access to reliable transportation. He’s always eager to chat and volunteers his gardening expertise by planting and caring for flowers around his public housing complex in South Minneapolis.

In addition to caring for the flower beds around his complex, Leland’s a pet lover. Volunteers who deliver meals to Leland are often met by his friendly dog, Lucas. Although Leland lives alone, Lucas keeps him company. He even helped Leland through a freak accident when he fell out of his wheelchair. Lucas stayed by Leland until emergency personnel arrived.

Thanks to Ani-Meals, a CES Meals on Wheels’ pet food delivery program, Lucas also gets a monthly delivery of food. For Leland, this delivery makes it easier to care for Lucas and he does not have to share his own food with Lucas. “It’s really helpful,” he says. “I really appreciate it, and he just loves the food.”

For both Leland and Lucas, the meals they receive through the Meals on Wheels and Ani-Meals programs are keys to keeping them living independently and healthy at home. “The Meals on Wheels volunteers are the best,” Leland says. “They always take time to chat a little bit and I appreciate that almost as much as the meal.”