Meals on Wheels and the library team up to bring books to Summit County seniors | SummitDaily.com

Meals on Wheels and the library team up to bring books to Summit County seniors

Elise Reuter
ereuter@summitdaily.com

Andy Searls, a volunteer with Mountain Meals on Wheels, puts together prepared meals for Summit County seniors.

The Summit County Library is teaming up with Mountain Meals on Wheels to offer books to seniors receiving three or more meals per week. So far, three seniors have requested books from the program, of 10 listed seniors receiving the delivered meals this summer.

To receive a book, seniors only need fill out a form to request specific books, DVDs and magazines.

"It's a little bit of everything," said Barb Arbuckle, with the Summit County Library's South Branch. "Some go online and place their own holds. One of the patrons we've known forever, so we know what she likes."

Volunteers collect the books from the library and deliver them to the Summit County Community and Senior Center. Arbuckle added that the library proposed the idea to Mountain Meals on Wheels when they were looking for ways to provide books to people who may not be able to get to the library easily. She added that a library card is not required for seniors to receive the reading materials.

Once all books are requested and collected, volunteers with Meals on Wheels deliver meals as usual, with a book. Once the seniors are done reading, they return them the same way. Summit County Senior Services program manager Valerie Greenhagen said the volunteers often request the same route, either through Breckenridge, Frisco and Dillon, or Silverthorne, to get to know the seniors.

"The volunteers who are there regularly know the quirks about those folks. It's really nice that they care a lot about the clients, and that they really look out for them," Greenhagen said. "A lot go above and beyond delivering a meal."

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For example, one volunteer noticed a woman on her route could use a shower chair. The senior center was able to provide it quickly; it was just a matter of noticing additional needs outside of nutrition.

"We get thank yous every day with how nice it is to have this service available to the people," Arbuckle added. "They can't get out all of the time."

A new chef, Sara Hopkins, recently joined the staff to help prepare meals to be delivered to seniors, as well as several community dinners at the center. Last year, Mountain Meals on Wheels delivered more than 2,500 meals in the county.