Church program serves homebound
By Angie Landsverk
A local church is delivering meals to homebound residents in the Waupaca area.
St. John’s Lutheran Church calls its Meals for Others.
“I’m just really impressed at the willingness of the congregation to take on this project and run with it,” said Roger Nielsen, the church’s pastor.
Nielsen’s wife, Alice, said the church started the project out of concern for some members.
Some members were losing weight, she said.
A couple members of the church brainstormed and came up with the idea while at Mama Z’s Bakery & Java Hut for coffee.
Those members were Sharon Mangert and Anne Wiegert.
Mitzi Wohlrabe owns Mama Z’s Bakery & Java Hut.
Since she has a commercial kitchen, she is able to prepare the meals for the program.
Wohlrabe and Mangert work together to plan the menus.
The recipients of the meals receive enough food for about two meals.
Meals for Others began a couple weeks ago.
Volunteers from the church are currently delivering meals to 14 people on Mondays and Wednesdays.
While the church is located at County Trunk KK, Weyauwega, meals are being delivered not only in the Weyauwega area, but also around Waupaca and Scandinavia.
Many of the recipients are church members or their relatives.
Unlike Meals for Wheels, which are delivered warm, these meals are delivered cold.
For that reason, the church needed coolers.
Farmers State Bank donated three coolers for the project.
It was Fran Vergauwen, the former president of Farmers State Bank, who told Mangert the bank had coolers.
He told her to contact the bank, according to Adam Ross, who is the bank’s marketing director.
“We were willing to donate three of them to the church to use,” he said. “The philosophy of the bank is to give back where we can.”
The congregation of St. John’s Lutheran Church is mission oriented. Each year, it gives between $15,000 and $16,000 to missions.
The cost of Meals for Others will be covered through that mission fund.
People may also donate funds toward the project.
Several families have already done so.
Those who volunteer to deliver the meals say this is also a way to visit with other church members.
Those who cannot make it to the church service may receive a church bulletin with their meals.
The church is also involving its Sunday School children in the program by having the children do craft projects for the meal recipients.
“This is what the Lord commanded us to do – take care of the widows, poor, unfortunate,” Nielsen said. “We’re just glad to be able to provide a service. Plus, we get a chance to visit with them. Many older people are lonely. It’s an outreach of the congregation.”