Celebrating the Meals on Wheels program in Paris, Mo.

"Champions Week" at the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center's purpose is to highlight how important the local Meals on Wheels program is.

This week is "Champions Week" at the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center. This week's purpose is to highlight how important the local Meals on Wheels program is.

"This way our people in our community and our elected officials can see what a difference it makes for these people that we deliver meals to," Tara Sheffield, Administrator of the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center, said.

Sheffield and her staff prepare and deliver more than two thousand meals a month to seniors in two counties.

One volunteer driver says the Meals on Wheels program is vital.

"That's probably that's their only meal, sometimes they get two one for night and they get one for the next day but that's very true, if we didn't have it a lot of people would be without food," Maxine Reily, a volunteer Meals on Wheels driver, said.

Reily and her husband have been volunteers for years, and she says on her route she delivers to people she knows.

The Meals on Wheels delivers more than just food, it delivers a piece of mind. The delivery also serves as a safety check for seniors.

Sheffield says helping seniors stay independent helps the state save money. She goes onto to say more seniors that are independent means that is less money they are spending on Medicaid.Sheffield also says the lack of state funding makes some days tough.

"Its a growing problem and the funding for it gets worse and worse every year, I get about a third of our funding from our state level," Sheffield said.

She says the rest comes from grants and donations. In the main room of the community center, is a wall of donators.Sheffield believes the doors would not be able to stay open if it wasn't for the community.

More than 5,000 hours of service came from volunteers in the surrounding community. And a good chunk of those hours came from Sarah Dawson.

"I'm at home all the time, who am I helping if I come down here, maybe I can help somebody," Dawson, a Paris Senior Community Citizen Volunteer, said.

Sheffield adds a positive attitude goes a long way in her line of work and she's happy if her seniors are happy.