Glenwood Springs-based Meals on Wheels powered by volunteers who want to help |

Glenwood Springs-based Meals on Wheels powered by volunteers who want to help

Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler/Post IndependentMeals on Wheels volunteer Tim Riley of Glenwood Springs organizes food for a lunch delivery, in a kitchen at Valley View Hospital. Riley has been a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels for 13 years.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The first time Becca Schickling delivered food for Meals on Wheels, she was blown away.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life,'” she said, looking back at how thankful her recipients were.

Now, after three years of running the program, her tune hasn’t changed. As the volunteer coordinator at Valley View Hospital, she helps direct several volunteer-based efforts, but it sounded as though she has a special place in her heart for this mobile meal program.

“It really is a wonderful community service,” she said.

After all, it’s providing something so basic and human.

Her local chapter of Meals on Wheels makes upward of 50 meals per week, each of which includes a balance of protein, vegetables, fruit and starch. Three days a week, volunteer drivers deliver the food to recipients in Glenwood, while once a week they visit people in Carbondale. As it stands now, a dozen households in Glenwood and two are in Carbondale are served. These numbers are always changing, however. That represents to Schickling one of the great things about the program. People can utilize it for a week or for years if they need to. There are no age, health or financial restrictions about who can join. Meals can serve anyone from homebound seniors to younger folks set back by an injury or illness.

Funded entirely by grants, often Meal’s dishes are completely free for its recipients. Other times, when there is no extra money to be had, the food costs $2.60 per meal. Regardless, it’s always a deal for those who need it. Oftentimes, Schickling knows, this is their biggest meal of day, and they’re always so appreciative, she explained.

And how can she tell?

“Oh, just the smiles and people’s faces and just the gratitude they have when they’re getting their meals,” she said. “You can tell you’re making a difference in their life.”

Like any nonprofit organization that difference is only as strong as its volunteers. Luckily, Schickling has a great group on her hands. Right now, about 10 people ” including a few couples ” offer their time to deliver food. When they aren’t available, Schickling picks up the slack, but so often that’s not an issue. Calling all volunteers “the salt of the earth,” she’s more than impressed with her bunch.

“They’re not doing it because I asked them. They’re doing it because they want to,” she said. “They want to help.”

That, as she put it, is a true “gift of the heart” ” one being given around this area every week.

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