La Crosse County is in search of more volunteers to deliver meals to older adults and those with disabilities, it announced Monday.
The county delivers daily meals to hundreds of individuals in the La Crosse area through the Aging and Disability Resource Center, but the summer months are bringing a shortage of volunteers.
The program often is staffed with student volunteers, the county said, and when colleges let out for the summer, many of the volunteers leave the city or get summer jobs.
Volunteering for the program not only helps the program run smoothly, officials said, but also helps build relationships in the community during a time of isolation.
“You are delivering much more than a meal,” said Carissa Pagel-Smith, manager of the ADRC, in a statement. “You are also providing a daily safety check and some companionship to people who may feel isolated.
“This is a great opportunity to strengthen the bonds in our community and help our our neighbors,” she said.
The county said in a recent survey that about a third of those who use the meal program said the volunteers were the only human contact during a typical day.
Volunteers need their own mode of transportation, proof of insurance and must complete a background check, with an optional mileage reimbursement. Volunteers are welcome to bring a friend to complete deliveries, too.
A typical delivery route takes one-and-a-half to two hours and covers about 12 miles.
Volunteers for routes on La Crosse’s North Side and an on-call driver are currently needed.
Those interested can find more information on the program and volunteering by emailing email@example.com or calling the ADRC of La Crosse County at 608-785-5700.
"You are delivering much more than a meal. You are also providing a daily safety check and some companionship to people who may feel isolated."
Carissa Pagel-Smith, manager of the ADRC