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Meals on Wheels needs volunteers
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If you want to volunteer:
Meals on Wheels is seeking volunteers to deliver meals in Great Bend. For information, contact program coordinator Yvonne Strecker at 620-792-1614, or stop by the MOW office at  1025 Main, room D-114.

 Wanted: A few good volunteers to deliver meals in Great Bend.
That could be a classified advertisement for Meals on Wheels. The long-running program that provides hot meals for the home-bound needs help, said coordinator Yvonne Strecker.
“We currently have eight routes and are in need of starting an ninth route to accommodate those that signed up with Meals On Wheels over the holidays,” Strecker said. “We had an influx of clients since the first of the year.”
Meals are served five days a week in the city limits of Great Bend, Hoisington and Ellinwood, and are prepared by the Great Bend Senior Center. The center currently fixes meals for 53 Great Bend residents and four in Hoisington.
So, now she is reaching out to find at least five volunteers to make the deliveries Monday through Friday over the lunch hour. “We need someone for each day of the week,” she said.
This can be one person per day, or a team that shares the week. It can be beneficial, she said, to have partners run routes together, that way one can drive and the other carry the meals to the recipients.
“Meals On Wheels has been fortunate to have individuals from area businesses take turns delivering meals as well as several dedicated individuals,” Strecker said. “Now “we are pin-pointing businesses with larger staffs where employees can run the routes.”
 The food is delivered from the Great Bend Senior Center, 2005 Kansas, after 11 a.m. It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to deliver eight to nine meals, and route sheets are provided with the meal bags, and the type of meal (low salt, diabetic, regular) are labeled on the route sheet and on the meal itself.
The meals come in one bag for each route. So, the more volunteers there are, the fewer meals there are per bag, making them lighter.
All contact info is on the route sheet including Retired Senior Volunteer Program/Meals On Wheels office in case of questions or problems. “Any assistance with the program would greatly benefit our community, and help maintain this crucial program.”
Those interested just need to come by the MOW office, fill out a volunteer application and they will be ready to go, Strecker said. The paperwork assures the volunteer will be covered by the MOW liability insurance policy.
 “We need to get these filled as soon as possible,” she said. She will be remapping Great Bend through next week to allow for the new route.
As for the increase in meal recipients, “that is a good thing,” Strecker said. “That means we are serving more people who are homebound and they getting at least one good meal each day.”
And, she said, the MOW volunteer may be the only other person these folks see all day.
Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 to provide the well balanced meals to those age 60 and over who are unable, due to age, physical, or mental condition or infirmity to shop, or prepare meals for themselves.
The agency works with other organizations and agencies to ensure that the clients are given every opportunity to remain in their homes as long as possible, Strecker said.
The cost of a meal is $5.25 for those that do not meet the over 60 and housebound criteria. If those criteria are met, we ask for a suggested donated of $3.25 a meal.
For information, contact Strecker at 620-792-1614, or stop by the MOW office at 1025 Main, room D-114.