Feeding our seniorsMay 03, 2022 10:39AM ● By Gary Robertson
With the isolation that came with the pandemic, the need for senior nutrition programs increased in Montrose and Delta counties.
Last year, Region 10 partnered with Shepherd’s Hand to provide Montrose seniors with hot meals through home delivery and curbside services. Shepherd’s Hand prepares the hot meals that Region 10 RSVP volunteers then package as Grab and Go meals, which can be picked up curbside in Montrose from 10:30-11:30 a.m. during the week. Curbside meals are offered in Delta County on certain days.
Adults age 60 or older automatically qualify for the Grab and Go program. The delivery option, however, requires a demonstrated need such as inability to drive, temporary displacement due to a medical procedure or injury, or cognitive impairment.
As of March, more than 6,700 meals have been provided since the program began on July 6, according to Program Coordinator Joe Walker. Meals are funded through area agency on aging. Payment for meals is not required, but donations are welcome.
In addition to receiving meals, homebound clients enjoy daily interactions with the program’s friendly volunteers. The volunteer component of the program is funded by an AmeriCorps grant that focuses on helping seniors age at home.
“Partnerships are important to help meet the needs of the community,” said Walker. “Shepherd’s Hand provides the meals and we provide the volunteers. RSVP has done very well with recruiting volunteers, which makes this all possible.”
Volunteer drivers are trained to notice and report visible changes in clients’ health or behavior. When a client requires additional health services, Region 10 staff can assist clients and caregivers by referring them to other community resources.
Shepherd’s Hand also prepares and serves a hot breakfast and lunch on week days in its commercial kitchen at 505 S. Second St. in Montrose. The Montrose Pavilion Senior Center also offers a dine-in option during the week with lunch supplied by The Stone House. Volunteers of America offers frozen meals for those in remote areas.
Approximately 47 volunteers work to deliver 40-60 meals per day.
Volunteer drivers and packagers are always needed at Region 10 RSVP and Shepherd’s Hand.
Beyond the personal gratification that comes with volunteering, benefits include supplemental health and liability insurance, and mileage reimbursement.
Volunteer applications can be downloaded online at www.region10.net or call 970-765-3147 for more information.