Longmont Meals on Wheels is seeking immediate assistance to fill volunteer positions and two staff positions; otherwise, the nonprofit may have to cut back on its programs.
Katie Wiser, development and communications manager for Meals on Wheels, said the nonprofit is “really hurting”.
“If it goes on much longer, we will have to reduce our outreach efforts first,” Wiser said. “And then we would look to reduce the number of delivery days.”
The association serves around 450 hot meals a day from Monday to Friday to housebound elderly people and people with disabilities in Longmont and Niwot. Longmont Meals on Wheels is also working with the Lyon Emergency Relief Fund to provide meals to Hygiène and Lyon residents. The work of staff and volunteers not only provides these residents with nourishment, but also helps them stay independent in their homes and serves as a health check, according to the Meals on Wheels website.
Longmont Meals on Wheels has been trying to fill a full-time cook position and a part-time kitchen assistant position for about two months, Wiser said. On top of that, Wiser said the nonprofit is short of about six to seven kitchen volunteers and about 12 replacement delivery drivers, who can help fill in for volunteers during the summer vacation. regular.
Wiser said a number of the nonprofit’s regular kitchen volunteers have recently retired and have not been replaced.
“Usually we go out for volunteers and things start to pick up, and instead it just gets worse,” Wiser said.
Wiser said that puts a strain on current volunteers, who are being asked to come in more often. It’s also led the nonprofit to choose meals that are less complicated and easier to prepare, which can mean repeating meals.
Those who volunteer described the joy they derive from doing so.
Husband and wife Mark and Jackie Lindon have been volunteering in the Meals on Wheels kitchen since 2015.
The Longmont couple said what they enjoyed most was connecting with other volunteers and the residents the nonprofit serves.
“I would recommend it to anyone,” said Mark Lindon. “It’s relatively easy work. It’s funny. People who get these meals could really use them. With everything going on in the economy, it’s better than ever.
Jackie Lindon added, “It’s a fun environment.”
She said the cook will put on music while they work and socialize by helping prepare meals.
Wiser said those working in the kitchen became “quick friends”.
“We are a non-profit organization and we care about people first,” Wiser said. “We are a very fun environment. Then on top of that, (with) the mission of helping people who are homebound and struggling to get regular nutritious meals, it’s wonderful.
Kitchen volunteers work 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers can work one day a week or more, if they wish.
Those interested in serving in the kitchen must be 18 years of age or older. They can register online at longmontmeals.org/volunteer. For staff positions, job offers are posted on Indeed. Or, potential volunteers or staff members can call the Longmont Meals on Wheels office to express interest and learn more at 303-772-0540.