Women's History Month: Meals on Wheels leader: Be good human beings

Bert Ijams

Photo by Nanci Hutson.

Bert Ijams

Prescott Meals on Wheels Executive Director Bert Ijams has never viewed herself as a feminist.

Rather she prides herself on striving to be a good human being who cares about community and others.

“We all have a responsibility to give to our community,” Ijams said.

The 63-year-old has spent much of her adult career working with nonprofits, including heading up a hunger hotline in Boston before she came to Arizona on a vacation and opted to stay for good.

In the last four years, Ijams said she has been privileged to oversee an agency whose goal is to nourish their clients’ physical body even as they feed their spirit through daily companionship. Meals on Wheels serves 200 homebound clients as well as another 1,000 daily meals in their dining room at the Adult Center that is open to anyone 18 and up. The regular cost is $6.

Always seeking new approaches to benefiting their clientele, Ijams just piloted a Creative Arts program that connected 16 seniors with volunteers from the area arts community. She hopes to find grants to expand it in the future.

“I’m no Gloria Steinem. I see myself as a human being on this planet. I don’t think about being the perfect woman but I want to be the best human being I can be.”