Rifle-based Meals on Wheels needs volunteers | PostIndependent.com

Rifle-based Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Alex Zorn

Meals on Wheels volunteers Connie Noel and Jacob and Kris Coombs pack up the car for deliveries on Wednesday.

When Kris Coombs started delivering meals for Grand River Health’s Meals on Wheels program she would on occasion bring one of her toddlers along for the ride. Now, nearly a decade later, her youngest, Jacob, continues to volunteer by her side.

“He would always help put the cart to the car with me when he was younger,” she said. “Now I think he may just come for the free lunch, but I’ve always thought it’s a great way to teach children to give back to others.”

She said it’s always been great one-on-one time with her kids — she has six from ages 12 to 26 — and when some would go to elementary school she’d bring others along for Meals on Wheels deliveries.

Jacob said he’s grown a lot since he started and always enjoyed meeting people on the route.

Coombs started delivering for the program nearly a decade ago, bringing each to volunteer over years, including some even picking up routes of their own from time to time.

She’s even developed close bonds with some of the long-time Meals on Wheels clients and other volunteer drivers as she’s often asked about her children on each stop.

Kris said some don’t recognize Jacob now.

GRH has sponsored its Meals on Wheels program since 1976 and it continues to grow, according to GRH Director of Volunteer Services Kaaren Peck.

The program added a sixth route starting June 1 and is looking for volunteer drivers. Coombs said when she started there were three routes.

David Salguero, who grew up in Basalt, started delivering meals about six months ago, and said it’s a great a way to learn more about the community he lives in. He is currently in the middle of a gap year as he looks to go to medical school to pursue a degree.

Salguero feels that Meals on Wheels has been a great opportunity for him during his gap year, as he’s been able to meet a lot of different people and learn more about how others in his community live.

Meals on Wheels currently has 85 drivers circulating from New Castle to Parachute and Peck said they need drivers to cover Silt, New Castle and Parachute.

She said that it only has four drivers from Parachute signed up, despite nearly a third of clients being from that area.

In 2017, GRH’s Meals on Wheels delivered around 17,000 meals, and Peck said she expects that number to reach 18,000 or more in 2018.

For more information on how to volunteer, contact Peck at kpeck@grhd.org or 970-625-6423.

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