Did you know that in a given year, it takes the power of more than 12,000 caring individuals to make sure Meals on Wheels get delivered every day? Without the dedication and generosity of our volunteers, there is simply no way that Meals on Wheels could exist as a service that brings nutrition and independence to local seniors and people with disabilities.
Whether it’s delivering meals or helping behind the scenes to with the little tasks needed to make a nonprofit run smoothly, our volunteers are invaluable. Because April is National Volunteer Month, we’d like you to meet a few of the folks that make the Meals on Wheels world go round.
Mellisa volunteers her time weekly at the Metro Meals on Wheels office to help with data management and other administrative needs. She also works at an after-school program at Bel Air Elementary School in New Brighton where she assisted her students in making placemats for meal recipients! Thanks for all you do, Mellisa!
Phil has been volunteering for Meals on Wheels for more than 7 years and has helped with Meals on Heels, the Blizzard Box Blitz (pictured here) and regular meal delivery in addition to his regular twice-weekly gig at the Metro Meals on Wheels office. “I’ve always been a foodie,” says Phil, so it gives him great satisfaction to volunteer his time to help ensure nutritious food is delivered to seniors and people with disabilities in our community. Thanks to Phil for his countless hours of volunteering!
Linda came to Meals on Wheels four years ago. She has a passion for both helping seniors and ensuring those who are hungry are fed. When her father was in a veterans’ home, she discovered the value of friendly visits for those who aren’t able to get out as often as they would like. “When my dad would doze off, I enjoyed chatting with the other seniors,” she says. Thanks Linda for all that you do!
Jack has been a regular volunteer driver for the Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP) Meals on Wheels neighborhood site for 17 years. Without fail, you’ll find Jack at the CEAP neighborhood site in Brooklyn Park every Monday and Friday – and other days if he’s called in as an emergency replacement driver. Regular volunteers like Jack assure meal recipients that somebody is looking out for them. We salute you, Jack!
Pictured here decorating lunch bags at a volunteer event at Lancer Catering (hence the hairnet), Ava does a little of everything. Whether it’s data entry, delivering meals with her grandma or educating her classmates about Meals on Wheels through her school newsletter, she’s always up to the task! She enjoys delivering meals because of the interaction with the recipients. “They’re really nice and I get to hang out with them,” she says. Thanks for always being willing to help where help is needed, Ava!
Courtney is the resident volunteer data geek at the Metro Meals on Wheels office. She handles all types of data compilation and analysis requests from staff with aplomb and great speed and accuracy! A sociology student by day, Courtney likes to get away from the books through volunteering. “Even when I’m really, really busy, I love coming in,” she says. “It’s feeling a part of something bigger than just homework.”
As someone who’s spent years teaching, Bob has always enjoyed doing work in the community. He brings a hunger for technical volunteering to the Metro Meals on Wheels office. As he and his wife have seen her parents struggle with some of the common issues that come along with aging, he says he’s become more interested in helping seniors. “My wife’s parents have the financial advantage to get help. Many don’t,” says Bob.
Sue has been a volunteer champion of Meals on Wheels for years. She became familiar with Meals on Wheels when a friend suggested delivering meals for WeCAN Meals on Wheels in the western Twin Cities years ago. She took her son out regularly and loved the experience. “It was so good for my son to see that. The seniors just love the younger kids,” says Sue. She’s now been volunteering at the Metro Meals on Wheels office on a weekly basis for almost 5 years and is known to spoil the staff with baked goods. “As my parents have gotten older, I see how valuable it is for people to have a connection to the community,” she says.
Thanks to all of our volunteers who do so much to bring nutrition and independence to our senior neighbors. If you’d like to join their ranks, learn more about volunteering for Meals on Wheels.