2019 was a busy and exciting year for Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. Through support of our dedicated staff and more than 2,500 hours worked by our generous volunteers, we delivered 106,206 meals to 335 homebound neighbors in 2019.
March brought our long-awaited move to Michigan Medicine as our food provider. Clients now receive hotter, fresher and more delicious food, including a weekly vegetarian option. Clients give the meals rave reviews.
Our total meal count for the year includes 5,418 weekend meals served to 86 YMOW clients. Weekend meal delivery resumed in June after a multi-year hiatus, allowing YMOW clients over 60 to opt for delivery of up to three meals each Saturday. That includes a hot meal for Saturday lunch, a chilled meal for Saturday night and an additional chilled meal for Sunday.
YMOW’s New Home
In October, YMOW moved into its new offices on the first floor of the First Baptist Church of Ypsilanti. The new space allows staff to work more easily as a team and those who once worked in the basement are happy to see the sun! We celebrated the move with an open house in early November.
Welcome to YMOW
New members of the YMOW team were added in 2019, as well.
- Sally Ruterbusch joined the team in February as YMOW’s first Development Manager. Her efforts focus on developing fundraising opportunities to further the work of the organization.
- Bethany Burge was hired in May as director of Occupational Therapy Clinical & Community Services. She oversees the launch and expansion of CAPABLE – a program that will help local seniors live more safely and comfortably in their own homes.
- Our Client Care Associates are on the front lines of everything we do. Joining the team in 2019 were Traci Bibins, Bern Debacker, Roy Hunt, Nancy Mokszycki, Rita Taylor and Joe Waldrop.
- Lisa Maskill, attorney with the Michigan Advocacy Program, joined the YMOW Board of Directors in February.
Challenges and the year ahead
There was much to celebrate in 2019, but the year wasn’t without its challenges. For the first time in more than five years, increased demand for meals resulted in a wait list late last year. We’re working to get people off that list as quickly as possible. With the continued support of our donors and volunteers, we hope to serve even more of our homebound neighbors in 2020.