Letter: Meals on Wheels seeking volunteers

Published 9:06 am Monday, April 11, 2016

As National Volunteer Month begins we want to thank those volunteers, and we encourage others to join us. Minnesota is a state of volunteers with 40 percent of our citizens giving back to their communities. Minnesota ranks fourth nationally in volunteerism. Minnesotans have a tradition of neighbor helping neighbor.

Austin Hot Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers. Hot Meals on Wheels needs short term replacement and substitute drivers. Last year our drivers delivered nearly 20,000 meals provided by Sacred Heart, Mayo Health Systems and Comforcare. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday every week of the year excluding holidays. There are 45 regular route drivers for nine routes each week. We have nine regular substitute drivers, but more are needed.

Currently 75 clients receive meals each day. A driver generally makes eight to 10 stops each route. A driver commitment is one day a week for one hour. Meals are delivered from 11 a.m. to noon. Besides meeting nutritional needs, delivering meals is a way to ensure clients aren’t seriously ill or injured. Hot Meals drivers provide social contact to clients.

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Hot Meals on Wheels has partnered with RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. RSVP provides reimbursement of 22 cents for mileage from the volunteer’s home to the meal pickup place, through the delivery of meals and back home again. RSVP provides free supplemental accident and liability insurance coverage while driving for Hot Meals. This insurance covers what your primary insurance does not, including your deductible.

Be a volunteer Hot Meals on Wheels driver. Please call 507-433-4197.

Mike Biedermann, Austin Hot Meals on Wheels