Community Table looking for more summer help

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local non-profit organization is in need of summer volunteers to help feed those in need in Eau Claire.

As the summer months approach, the Community Table in Eau Claire is concerned about the number of volunteers they are seeing. The organization says they’re seeing more and more families coming to eat, but fewer and fewer volunteers to help.

“It costs me nothing,” Phillip Ruge-Jones, a volunteer for the Community Table, says about helping out.

Finding others to volunteer gets harder and harder as people get busier over the summer.

“It means we have to scramble to prepare for a meal or get a skeleton crew together,” Kevin Kline, the Volunteer/Marketing Coordinator for the Community Table, said. “We always do it, but it makes it a little bit harder. When we don’t have volunteer teams, that means our donations go down slightly.”

Kline says anyone is welcome to volunteer, but if you’re a cook, there’s really no limit on what you can do when it comes to being creative making the meals.

“If you’re a cook, if you’re a foodie, this is the perfect place for you because we let you experiment,” Kline said. “If you see a recipe and you want to tweak it, go ahead. That’s the thing about volunteering here: I want people to have fun.”

Kline says the people they serve are considered food insecure, which is a wide-ranging term.

“We’re seeing more young families, professional families, college-educated - just recently graduated from college, you have a young family, but you still have to pay your college debts,” Kline explained.

Ruge-Jones says giving a couple hours of your day helps those in need, but it’s also beneficial for volunteers.

“It’s an opportunity to meet with people from different generations; I have worked with everybody from 5th graders to people well into their retirement,” Ruge-Jones said.

And the Community Table doesn’t take a day off.

“People are always hungry and our doors are always going to be open during meal time,” Kline said. “We’re going to make sure people get a hot, healthy, nutritious, and good-tasting meal.”

Kline says the Community Table normally wants a team of around 8-15 people.

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