The facility on 51st and Yale has been in the works since last summer and leaders expect it to open in a few months. Crews broke ground last July, and now, the work is 65 percent complete. Bob Beard is the Vice President of Community Relations and Development for Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa.
He says they've outgrown capacity at the current location that has housed the organization for 40 years. Beard says the pandemic revealed a larger need for clients. Before the pandemic, Meals on Wheels delivered 300,000 meals a year. Once the new kitchen is up and running, they hope to more than triple that number. At the nearly 24-thousand square foot facility, Beard says there will also be a place to build ramps for the home safety program.
There will be more office space, a volunteer engagement center, and an event center. Meals on Wheels call the kitchen the “heartbeat” of the organization. The goal is to produce one million meals a year to deliver to the community.
"A facility like this absolutely transcends what we're able to do,” Beard said. "Now we're able to meet those needs and wrap-around services. Not only do we provide the meals, but we also provide help with safety. We provide different types of avenues of information for our clients as well."
Beard expects the facility to open in late August or early September.