Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona in need of summer volunteers

Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona in need of volunteers
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:46 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As temperatures and inflation rise this summer, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona needs your help to keep the most vulnerable population fed.

The organization expanded during the pandemic when people couldn’t leave their homes and it continues to grow because a lot of people can’t afford to eat.

Development Director Luke Smith said volunteers often leave during the summer months and Mobile Meals has a hard time getting meals to everyone who needs them.

“Last month we trained three new volunteers but we lost 12 and we had to find people to deliver over 344 meals,” Smith said. “If we can’t find the substitutes, the office staff has to fill in but we can only do so much as an office staff of six.”

Smith said about 250 people are served each month, which amounts to nearly 9,000 meals delivered monthly. This year they’re on track to serve more than 100,000 meals. Smith said that’s about 10,000 more meals than last year.

“This need is constantly growing,” Smith said. “Generations are getting older and our population is aging, but also the economic challenges with inflation. A lot of these people are on fixed income, so they’re sick and they can’t go to work or they’re on fixed income and they don’t have access to the food that healthier people do.”

Volunteers are required to go through a brief training. Once a week they go to a hospital at 11 a.m. to pick up food and deliver the food on a route for about 8-10 clients. They are able to drive their own vehicles. Once they’re finished, they have to return the trays to the hospital.

“The service you’re providing as a volunteer for mobile meals is just not bringing food to clients, it’s also that compassion,” Smith said. “Oftentimes we’re the only people they’ll see in any given day, so by providing the service we are addressing food insecurity and also the idea of isolation and mental health.”

Mobile Meals representatives say it’s a great way to do your part and take care of the community.

If you’re interested in applying click here.

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