A Full Belly for the Whole Family
The Meaning of Family
Cindi Beard sits in the living room of her trailer home in Sacramento, California, watching her favorite channel, Animal Planet. But her mind isn't on the show. It's nearly 9:50 a.m., and she's eagerly waiting for the doorbell to ring. As soon as it does, Beard, 69, heads to the door with the help of her cane as Sydney, her Australian shepherd mix, barks happily by her side. "Hi, Cindi!" says Teofilo Tamboaon, a driver with the organization Meals on Wheels (MOW), who gives her one of his usual hello hugs, then hands her a lunch tray (today it's tuna salad on a bed of lettuce, vegetables, and a cookie), as he does every weekday morning.
But he has also brought a crackling new bag of dog kibble, compliments of MOW's new program, Pets Eat Too (PET). Tamboaon spends a few minutes roughhousing with Sydney, then replaces the frayed rope around her neck with a proper leash and collar, gifts that delight Beard. She settles on the couch with her tray on her lap while Sydney runs back and forth from her bowl on the kitchen floor to chew a mouthful while sitting at Beard's feet. It seems the two agree that a meal just tastes better when they eat side by side.