Volunteers needed at The Community Table

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An important service in the Chippewa Valley is calling on the community for support.
The Community Table serves one meal a day, every day of the year. But leaders say they need more volunteers in order to serve the Chippewa Valley. One of those leaders is Michelle Koehn, executive director of The Community Table.

An important service in the Chippewa Valley is calling on the community for support.

"Volunteers are the foundation on which we serve our mission," Koehn says.

Each day nearly dozen volunteers go to the community table to prepare, cook and serve a hot and nutritious meal for the Chippewa Valley's less fortunate. A role Koehn says can be tough to fill.

But a new age of volunteers are trying to change that. Cadaynce Molamphy is part of the Upward Bound-Forward Service Corporation who helped clean and rotate food Tuesday afternoon

"When I saw this in my stack of paperwork, I instantly wanted to help out because I love volunteering and doing things for people who have been in the same situation as I have been in."

Molamphy says it is unfair that places like The Community Table get a bad perception.

"It kind of sucks that places like these get a bad rap because people assume that it is embarrassing or that people who come here are less than and that's not true at all."

She says she knows firsthand how important places like the community table are.

"The people who come here are people that need to be here and that should be completely fine. It shouldn't be embarrassing and people shouldn't judge you for it."

Koehn says the volunteers bring more than just a helping hand, they bring hope.

"The hospitality encompasses what the volunteers bring, which is a lot of joy and happiness and empathy and compassion for helping and feeding out neighbors.”

For Molamphy, she says volunteering for a program like The Community Table makes her feel good.

"Since this is a program for people that are low income or have been in situations like these, it's nice to give back to people in those situations."

She says you never know the impact of food assistance programs unless you've experienced it.

"Because, if you've been in those situations, you understand how important it is or how meaningful it is to have someone help you out and help you get through it.”

The Community Table served around 45,000 meals last year.