Volunteers help deliver healthy meals to La Crosse County seniors

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -- - March is national nutrition month, and one local program is providing healthy food for seniors. 

The La Crosse County Senior Nutrition Program helps those who live both in town and in rural communities. 

Aquinas High School junior Max Gauger said helping people enjoy a healthy meal is rewarding.

"It's a good way to give back to the community," Gauger said.  "You'll walk in and you'll get a really big smile from them, and they like talking to you. It's good to see that." 

Volunteers from Aquinas High School, Viterbo University and throughout the community all help to give healthy meals to neighborhood elders. 

"We wouldn't be able to do it with out (our volunteers)," said Joe Clarkin, La Crosse County Senior Nutrition site manager.

Gauger said they are able to deliver food so the elderly can remain in their rural communities. 

"They can't get out and go get their own food," Gauger said. "When you go in there and have a little conversation with them and it's just good to give back." 

Aquinas junior Ben Hundt said the look on people's faces makes it all worthwhile. 

"You always have fun doing this," Hundt said. 

Some volunteers have donated their time for decades. 

"We don't have everything to do at home all day long, so we just decided to help out up here," volunteer Dee Miller said. 

Clarkin said the help doesn't go unnoticed. 

"We really appreciate everything they do here," Clarkin said. "Not only do they help the routine work around the dining room, but they also really make it pleasant for people who eat here." 

Hundt said it gives volunteers like himself a new perspective. 

"It's a good experience for us," Hundt said. "You just get time out of school to talk to other people and interact with them."

Miller said her friend asked her to get involved and she never looked back. 

"She just came and asked me to help out a little bit and I never quit," Miller said. 

Last year, the La Crosse County's Senior Nutrition Program served 105,981 meals.

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