Stapp Inspires Spotlight: Longmont Meals On Wheels

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Hi! This is Erin again. I wanted to go a little more in depth with Longmont Meals on Wheels. I spoke with Katie Wiser, Development Coordinator with Longmont Meals on Wheels.

Longmont Meals on Wheels, is a non-profit organization that provides elderly, people with disabilities and people returning from a hospital stay with proper, affordable nutrition in their homes and at the Senior Center. They do not have a wait list, nor is proof of income needed to have meals delivered. Meals are delivered around lunch time Monday through Friday. Home delivery accounts for about 80% of all the meals that are prepared. In 2016 they served over 107,000 meals!

Meals are prepared fresh every day by an in house chef and two assistants. The meals are nutritionally balanced and on a 90 day calendar. They are held to the same standards as a restaurant kitchen and are subject to the Boulder County Health Department. The kitchen is also equipped to handle special dietary needs as well. Low sodium, diabetes, food allergies are just a few of the special needs that they can handle.

I asked Katie some of the biggest misconceptions about Meals on Wheels. She said the biggest was the quality of food. Because they receive no government funding (federal or state) they have fewer restrictions and can offer food that isn’t institutional tasting.

Funding was the second biggest misconception Katie mentioned. While there is a national Meals on Wheels organization, each is independent. They receive no government funding. Longmont Meals on Wheels relies on local donations now and always!

I asked Katie if they had any other programs than the daily meals. I was surprised to learn that they did offer quite a few. One is called Project Homecoming. This is open to anyone who is coming home from the hospital or outpatient care. LMOW will deliver 5 free meals as people transition back from a hospital stay. They offer a free Lockbox Program to Longmont residents 65 and older, those with disabilities or who suffer from a major medical issue at any age.  They will also provide an Emergency Food bag which contains three days worth a food. A lot of these went out during the 2013 Flood. The last program Katie talked about was their Holiday Basket. This contains enough food for two people and a gift card to pick out their own protein.

My next question related back to funding. If LMOW doesn’t receive any government funding, then how do they get the funds needed to operate. Their biggest fundraiser is the Longmont Christmas Home Tour. It is the oldest and largest in the state. 4 homes are decorated for Christmas and visitors have the opportunity to purchase the decorations. Homes that are apart of the tour are announced in October, so check back for that! This year’s Home Tour will run November 30- December 2. We will post more details as the become available.

LMOW had a new fundraiser this year called Tablescapes. Different business and organizations decorated tables that were raffled off! We had a great time at this event!

Longmont Meals on Wheels is a great asset to this community and we are proud to partner with them. Thank you for all you do!

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Day of Champions

Hi! This is Erin, the Digital Marketing Manager for Stapp Interstate Toyota. Last week I was able to participate in Longmont Meals on Wheels‘ (LMOW) Day of Champions. Once a year LOMW invited members of the community to join them on their delivery runs and at the Senior Center. Members of the Fire Department, Police Department, EMT, and the mayor were among those who were participating.

I was paired up with a gentleman named Rich. Rich had been delivering once a week for two years. “Although, he said with a smile, ” Starting in April, I’ll be delivering two days a week.”  We sat around and waited for his route number to be called. He already had the cold sacks of food loaded up in the car and ready to go. Before long his name was called and we were loading the hot meals into the insulated bag and we were off.  “I should really, ask for milage and gas re-embursment and a snack when I go on these drives.” Rich commented. Already his sense of humor was showing through, our first stop was a senior apartment complex a few blocks away from where we started at the Senior Center.

We get out of the car and head into the building. I have a job to do, I have the cold sacks of food. The first apartment no one was home. So we left the food in the cooler outside the door and moved on.  And that’s how our route went, some weren’t home at the time and others were.

I was deeply touched by the people we did see. Some accepted the meal, and exchanged a few pleasantries and we were on our way. Others, they wanted to talk for just a little longer. Rich was patient and kind, asking how they were doing. Several commented that they were so glad to see us and what a wonderful person Rich was. In about an hour we had delivered all our meals and were back to the Senior Center. Rich and I shook hands and we went our ways. Rich wanted to try and get a bike ride in before it got too late. I headed back to the dealership, with the thoughts of the last couple hours on my mind.

More than one person commented that this lunch we were bringing them would be their only hot meal of the day, some their only meal. Most were living by themselves and some had mobility problems that limited their ability to get around and get out. I got the feeling that in some cases the volunteers that were delivering the meals, were the only person they might see in a day.

 

As I pulled in the dealership, I had one call I needed to make before I went back to work. The phone rang a few times. The familiar “Hello” as only my grandma says greets me. I say hello and the normal brief pause while she calls my grandpa to pick up another phone. The deep chuckle of my grandpa’s voice fills my car. We talk for a bit and then it’s time to say goodbye.

As I walk up to the dealership I reflect on my day.  I’m thankful that Longmont Meals On Wheels provides such a wonderful service to the elderly, people with disabilities and those coming home from the hospital. Next month as part of Stapp Inspires we will be highlighting Longmont Meals On Wheels and the work they are doing in our community and how you can get involved.  I hope you will join us.