Mobile Meals celebrates 50 years of serving the Chippewa Falls community
A momentous milestone is being celebrated by a Chippewa Falls nonprofit deeply rooted in serving the elderly and those with health related issues.
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -The Mobile Meals of Chippewa Falls program runs solely on donations and community volunteers, in many cases, it enables its clientele to remain in their homes as long as possible.
“We go for a walk in the morning, we come home and do our things then we wait for the mailman after he goes we start looking for the food to come, so we’re busy,” laughs Jean Romsos, Mobile Meals recipient.
Romsos and Carol Konerik of Chippewa Falls are longtime next door neighbors.
“And we get along wonderful,” smiles Konerik.
The two have been receiving week day deliveries from Mobile Meals since January.
Prepared by the kitchen staff of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, twenty drivers donate their time and energy to ensure the hot meals get to those in need.
“It makes us feel good, it really does,” starts volunteer Mike Berry.
Sue and Mike Berry, happily married for 30 years, dedicate two days a week to giving back to their community.
Following a lifelong career as a nurse working with people in assisted living, Sue says getting involved with Mobile Meals five years ago came as second nature.
“I know that at some point I will be needing that same service and to know that there are people willing to give their time and their energy to do this really makes a difference,” Sue Berry says.
For some, the daily delivery is more than a reliable meal.
“She could tell you which person was supposed to come on which day and she looked forward to it, they treated her like she was part of her family,” says John Liddell, whose mother received meals from the program for nearly two years.
Liddell’s mom Dorothy lived to be 99 and a half years old, she passed away in January.
Liddell says without Mobile Meals, it would not have been possible for his mother to remain at home as long as she did.
“She literally would about quarter to 11 every day take her walker and sit by the front door, because she was afraid she’d miss talking to them if she was further in the house,” explains Liddell. “They would just yell her name make sure she was okay, and then set her meal down...and she hated missing them.”
Volunteer Sue Berry says Liddell’s mother played a leading role in getting her started with the nonprofit.
“He talked about what a difference the Mobile Meals had made for his mother and I knew I was starting in the right place,” Berry says.
After enduring a pandemic, daily routes have turned into more than just meal deliveries.
They became health check-ins, and a friendly face to look forward to.
“Some of the people we deliver to, we may be the only people they see during the day...they’re nice people out there that are receiving these meals,” Mike Berry says.
“We like when it’s delivered to us because we were quarantined, we couldn’t leave here,” says Romsos.
Romsos recently lost her husband to COVID-19.
“I’m really blessed by having this place and the nice people here,” as she looks to Carol.
Romsos says with the help of good friends and healthy eats, she looks forward to keeping her independence in Chippewa Falls.
“It’s wonderful for me, I mean this is my forever home now,” Romsos says.
While the program is celebrating 50 years, it needs support to last another 50 years.
Due to the pandemic and a number of other factors, more volunteer drivers are needed.
If you’re interested in getting involved, click here or call 715-723-0486.
You can send donations to:
Mobile Meals of Chippewa Falls PO Box 601
Chippewa Falls, WI
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