A meal delivery program serving the elderly in Waukesha County is in dire need of volunteers, according to organizers.
The Home Delivered Meals program, run by Waukesha County’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, provides ready to eat meals to seniors 60 and older Monday through Friday of each week.
To qualify, recipients must be a resident of Waukesha County, and unable to attend a senior dining center or prepare adequate, nutritious meals on their own.
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Mike Glasgow, nutrition and transportation supervisor for the ADRC, said the program delivers between 450-500 meals to people along 38 different routes each day.
“It’s a pretty big operation,” Glasgow said. “Sometimes it can be even more meals –- up to 600 in a day.”
Glasgow says he and other ADRC employees oversee the food preparation, but the bulk of the delivery runs are made by volunteers. He says the program is currently short on volunteers, especially delivery drivers.
Glasgow said he’d like to see as many as 40 additional drivers to provide flexibility in case someone is on vacation or calls in sick. More drivers could also allow routes to be shortened up.
“The seniors we serve out there are in need and can’t get out to the dining sites, can’t get to food vendors, and can’t grocery shop themselves,” Glasgow said. “We need people to get these nutritious meals to them.”
Glasgow said drivers volunteer their time and use their own vehicles, but are compensated for mileage.
Volunteer Peter Larson said he delivers food to two routes each week, and does it because he often doubles as a friend to those receiving the meals.
“I love spending time with these people,” Larson said. “Sometimes I’m the only person they’re going to see all day.”
Glasgow said the need for volunteer drivers will continue to grow as Waukesha County’s population gets older.
County statistics in 2010 showed one in seven people in Waukesha County were 65 years old or older. By 2030, the county expects that number to be one in four people.
To volunteer with the Home Delivered Meals program, call 262-548-7848 or visit waukeshacounty.gov/ADRCVolunteer/.