Thanks for supporting Eastside Meals on Wheels

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March 28, 2013
By: Eileen Hafften
Eileen Hafften

Now that springtime is around the corner I would like to thank all of the Eastside Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers who braved rain, sleet, and snow the entire winter to deliver hot nutritious meals to our homebound neighbors from our new site at Catholic Eldercare. Some of our volunteers have been supporting us for close to 40 years!

Congregation members of local churches incorporated our organization nearly 40 years ago and they were our very first financial and volunteer advocates.

Volunteer drivers from Northeast United Methodist Church, Faith United Methodist, Gustavus Adolphus, Mt Carmel, Nativity Lutheran, St Charles Borromeo, and Elim Baptist continue to serve our community with volunteer meal deliveries for our Program and by providing financial support. In our Southeast neighborhood, The University Lutheran Church of Hope, First Congregation, University Baptist, First Congregational, Grace University, Andrew Riverside, Prospect Park, and St Lawrence Catholic are long time supporters.

Additional long term financial support and drivers come from local service clubs such as the NE Lion’s Club, St Anthony and Northeast Kiwanis Clubs, Eastside Exchange Club, Kaposia Inc. and groups from the Community Involvement Program.  Local businesses such as Xcel Energy, Castle Builders, Target, Graco, UCare, Siwek Lumber, 1-800-Got-Junk, Anchor Restaurant and Catholic Eldercare support us with drivers and donations. Student groups from St. Anthony Middle School deliver meals each month and the Project Return group from North Metro School District 916 has been delivering meals for us every Thursday for more than 15 years.

We could not exist without community help and support.  A hefty portion of the Eastside Meals on Wheels budget relies on contributions from area businesses, churches, social service groups, memorials, fundraising activities and generous individuals.   With diminishing federal support each year, it is important for us to continue to keep these strong partnerships with these groups who provide the backbone to our organization. We thank all of them, all the individual drivers and the other companies that contribute time and money to keep our “wheels” rolling and delivering 12-14 daily routes. Our delivery volunteers donate nearly 3,300 support hours to our program each year!

We deliver more than a meal to our clients. Our volunteers care about our clients and keep overall watch each day for signs of distress or new limitations. When our volunteer drivers report concerns to us, we follow up with the client and their families if necessary.  We have helped injured clients, confused clients, neglected or abused clients, and we provide them with contact information to other services.  We deliver peace of mind to families of those clients who live alone. We deliver meals temporarily to individuals who are unable to consistently prepare their own meals as they heal from a broken bone or as they recover from the loss of a spouse. We are a vital resource for the community.  Our commitment to deliver nutritious meals to our homebound neighbors will survive and continue to serve the community because of responsive local churches, Service Groups, businesses and generous individuals in the community. Hats off to all!

Please help us locate those isolated neighbors who could use a daily, healthy meal with a smile. If you would like to volunteer or donate to your local Meals on Wheels program please call 612-277-2529 or visit our website at eastsidemeals.org.

Eileen Hafften
Executive Director
Eastside Meals on Wheels, Inc.