Mobile Meals unsure if it can keep up with demand

Published On: Nov 19 2012 06:13:42 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 19 2012 06:35:17 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

With Thanksgiving just days away, many people are already preparing for their big holiday meal.

But for many people in our community, just preparing one meal every day is a struggle.

Mobile Meals puts food on the table for about 100 elderly, disabled and homebound La Crosse residents every day.

John Liesgang is one of them. He said he used to be a pretty talented cook.

"I used to make beef roasts, and pork roasts, and stews, and soups, and whatever. As a scout leader, I was teaching boys how to cook in the outdoors,” said Liesgang.

That was before his heart attack in 2009.

"It was impossible for me to cook a meal because I couldn't stand that long. I still can't," said Liesgang.

So, every day, volunteers with Mobile Meals come to the address where he's lived all 75 years of his life.

He's one of 90 La Crosse residents who get hot meals delivered right to their front doors every day.

"It really means a lot to them. And you realize something that you think is so simple is really, really important in their lives," said volunteer Linda Starr Winans.

Mobile Meals Coordinator Missy Greco is hoping to open up a new route next week that would serve 12 people who've been on a waiting list for as long as two months.

But she's not sure the organization will be able to pull it off.

As winter approaches, so does snowy and icy weather. That makes volunteers who are willing to drive harder to find.

"Trying to find drivers who are able to walk through the snow, and on the ice, and get to those locations would probably be our biggest challenge," said Greco.

Liesgang said getting his diabetic-safe meals delivered 365 days a year is a necessity he would hate to see anyone like himself have to do without.

"I hope and pray that they find enough volunteers. Because without the volunteers that are willing to brave the elements and bring food to me and others like me, we wouldn't have a decent meal to eat," said Liesgang.

The hot lunches cost just $3.25 a day. For another 75 cents Mobile Meals recipients can get a cold dinner delivered too.

Greco said the county covers the cost of about three-quarters of the meals delivered.

For more information about volunteering or signing up to receive meals yourself, email lacrossemobilemeals@gmail.com or call 608-784-4623.