Mobile Meals of La Crosse sees its number of customers increase

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Every day, volunteers from Mobile Meals of La Crosse deliver food to dozens of community members.

Volunteers are busier than ever.

Originally, the mobile meal program only delivered goods to customers within the city limits of La Crosse.

Now these roads extend beyond the city to Onalaska and French Island.

It’s a snowy and freezing day for mobile meal delivery.

“It’s a little wet,” said volunteer David Schlueter.

But that doesn’t stop volunteers from handing out hot and cold food to those who can’t get to the grocery store.

“We appreciate it,” Schlueter said. “And you know, we’re retired. So we have some time, and it works well.

Schlueter and his wife, Joan, are on road number six en route to French Island.

The longest course of the six in the program.

The need for mobile meals has increased during the pandemic.

“They don’t want to go out and do anything anymore,” said Katie Desmond, executive director of Mobile Meals of La Crosse. “So they just prefer to stay home.”

Desmond says the program recently added routes to French Island and Onalaska.

The number of clients has increased, as have the volunteers.

“They understand that we need them more than ever,” Desmond said. “They know these are the people who need meals. They need our help.

Useful for residents like Linda Duke.

“House food, and it’s all done and it’s delicious,” Duke said.

“Very convenient for you, isn’t it?” asked journalist Tyler Job.

“Very convenient for me, yes,” Duke said.

“Not a day goes by that we can’t get these people a meal,” Desmond said.

“Most people really enjoy meals,” Schlueter said.

To prove that days like these, even in the snow, can bring smiles to customers and the volunteers who serve them.

Meals are prepared at the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.

Desmond says the program has about 200 volunteers serving just under 100 clients across La Crosse, Onalaska and French Island.

Each client can receive up to two meals per day.

A cold meal costs $1.25/day.

Guests are charged $4.25 per day for hot meals.

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