Mobile Meals of La Crosse sees increase in clients

The program has expanded to serving clients in Onalaska and on French Island

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

Volunteers are busier now than ever before.

Originally, the mobile meals program only delivered goods to clients within La Crosse city limits.

Now, those routes are expanding beyond the city to Onalaska and French Island.

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

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

But it’s not stopping the volunteers from handing out hot and cold food items to those who can’t get to the grocery store.

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

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

The longest route out of all six in the program.

The need for mobile meals has grown over the course of the pandemic.

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

Pic Mobile Meals Increase

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

The number of clients have grown, and so have the volunteers.

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

Helpful for residents like Linda Duke.

“Food at home, and everything is made and it’s delicious,” Duke said.

“Very convenient for you, right?,” reporter Tyler Job asked.

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

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

“Most people really enjoy the meals,” Schlueter said.

Proving that days like these, even in the snow, can put a smile on the faces of the clients and the volunteers serving them.

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

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

Each customer can receive up to two meals per day.

A cold meal costs $1.25/day.

Clients are charged $4.25 per day for hot meals.