Meals on Wheels (MOW), a Barron County program for more than 40 years, is still positively impacting many older adults in our communities today. Every week day, over 200 MOW participants receive a hot, nutritious meal delivered by a friendly driver who checks in on them and sparks up a pleasant conversation. The impact of this daily visit helps to keep older adults in our communities independent, healthy, and connected to their community.
“Our Meals on Wheels program would not be able to reach as many people as we do without our drivers. They are key to the program’s success and the reason we are able to serve every corner of Barron County,” said Joanne Sweet, Meals on Wheels Coordinator. “Because of our drivers, we don’t have a waiting lists.”
Barron County currently has 24 MOW delivery routes so we need 24 different drivers every day to get meals out. We have many designated volunteer delivery routes that take 1 hour or less and involve mostly in-town deliveries. The longer, more rural routes can take up to 2.5-4 hours and includes transporting bulk food to the senior dining sites. Because of the extra work entailed in the longer routes, drivers of these routes are paid. ALL routes are equally important as they allow us to serve older adults in all parts of the county.
Tim Certain, Meals on Wheels driver, shares his thoughts on this rewarding job: “This job is phenomenally rewarding and it is a privilege to be able to serve. We (drivers) are the only outside contact for some of the participants. Some look forward to seeing me every day and even wait outside for our brief conversation that we have when I deliver their meal. I enjoy connecting with the participants and learning a little about them too. Knowing that you are making a different in people’s lives is very rewarding!”
Does this sound like something you would like to be involved with? We need both volunteer and paid MOW drivers around Barron County. The current need for paid positions is in the Haugen/Rice Lake, Cumberland, Turtle Lake, and Barron/Cameron areas. These positions are shared positions, meaning you work two weeks, Monday-Friday, then you are off two weeks. Pay is minimum wage and includes mileage reimbursement.
Please help spread the word about these MOW driver openings so we can continue to serve all of our older adults in Barron County who benefit from receiving meals and daily check in. If you or someone you know is interested in this rewarding job, please contact Joanne Sweet, Meals on Wheels Coordinator, at the ADRC at 715-537-6225.