By Conrad Dudderar
Volunteers are the “heart” of Yukon’s non-profit home meal delivery program, contributing 400-500 hours monthly.
Yukon Mobile Meals’ volunteers and other supporters were lauded for their contributions during a volunteer appreciation hamburger feed June 16 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.
The program has operated from the DRC over the past 25 years.
Yukon Mobile Meals started in 1975 to feed elderly, disabled and convalescing “homebound” Yukon residents unable to prepare their owns meals. The mission continues today.
“We’ve been successfully serving the community of Yukon now for 47 years,” Director Joanne Oltmanns told the audience. “We could not do this without you volunteers.
“We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”
Yukon Mobile Meals counts on a team of dedicated helpers to prepare, package and deliver hot meals (and smiles) Monday through Friday. The program serves Yukon residents.
“Your work is so very important to us,” Oltmanns told her volunteers. “We have six routes that cover the city. There are generally two volunteers (per route) who drive and deliver those meals.
“We use two volunteers to help in the kitchen.”
The only paid employee is kitchen supervisor/cook Jason Copeland.
“We work closely with the City of Yukon since we use their building to operate out of,” Oltmanns said. “We have a board of directors that guides us.”
Board members are President Donna Jones, Vice President Keith Henson, Secretary Casey Barnett, Treasurer Jason Beal, Donna Jung, DeeDee Bos, Beverly Sparks, Christine Russell, and Kyle Woodall.
‘VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR’
Honored at Thursday’s luncheon were Jerry and JoAnn Dinwiddie, who are the 2022 Volunteers of the Year for Yukon Mobile Meals. They’ve volunteered since August 2011.
“They do a little bit of everything,” Oltmanns said. “They volunteer in the kitchen, deliver meals, help out when I’m ‘in a pinch’, and put baskets together for wintertime when we have to close because of bad weather.”
Jerry and JoAnn Dinwiddie have grown close to many meal recipients.
“Sometimes, they take a little longer to deliver their route because they do a lot of visiting,” Oltmanns noted. “They’re great volunteers.”
When Yukon Mobile Meals started 47 years ago, the program had nine clients.
Today, more than 100 people receive the weekday lunch meals. The menu is a general diet low in fat and sodium.
“During COVID, our numbers went up as high as 120,” Oltmanns said. “After the first of the year, our numbers dropped off to about 80 but we’re back up there again.”
Yukon Mobile Meals has only had four directors in those 47 years. Oltmanns has served two stints as director, most recently from 2011 to present.
Besides counting on volunteers, the program relies on donations and fund-raisers.
Yukon Mobile Meals hosts a popular bingo night at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday each month at the DRC. Proceeds help cover costs for any recipient who can’t afford to pay the suggested $2-per-meal donation.
Learn more about Yukon Mobile Meals by calling (405) 350-5900 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org