Eastside Meals on Wheels looks for new home again

Eastside Meals on Wheels is looking for a new home that includes office space and kitchen space or space to build a kitchen. Beginning at the end of August, their current location at Catholic Eldercare, 817 Main Street NE, will no longer be available.

“I’m taking as many suggestions as I can,” said Eastside Meals on Wheels Executive Director Eileen Hafften. “Our first choice would be a nursing home or somewhere where they prepare meals.”

The move is a result of program changes at Catholic Eldercare, said Eldercare spokesperson John Wingate. “We have preliminary plans to respond to community needs that we see. We will be trying to meet the need for rehab therapy and an adult day program.”

Wingate said Meals on Wheels is a “wonderful” tenant. “We are very supportive of them. They provide a tremendous value to the community. It’s a well-run operation. The volunteers are superb. They show up every day and are the point of contact with seniors who are sometimes isolated.”

Each year approximately 275 Eastside Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver about 22,000 meals to local residents. The nonprofit, 501 C-3 organization is celebrating its 40-year anniversary this year.

Hafften said they are looking for 300 square feet of office space in Northeast or Southeast Minneapolis or St. Anthony Village. The site must prepare meals or have kitchen facilities available to reheat catered meals. If a new location doesn’t have an existing meals program, Meals on Wheels will contract food preparation, possibly with Catholic Eldercare, and reheat the meals at their new kitchen location prior to delivery.

“Catholic Eldercare has agreed to continue our strong partnership and will contract with us to prepare and deliver our packaged daily meals to our new site if needed,” said Hafften. “We look forward to continuing to work with them if it works out that way.”

Meals on Wheels also needs an entrance to distribute meals to volunteers and a place for volunteers to load their vehicles, six to eight temporary parking spaces for volunteers that are available 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on weekdays, and nearby parking for three staff members.

If anyone has space or a suggestion for a new location, contact Eileen Hafften at 612-277-2528 or nemealsonwheels [at] msn [dot] com.

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Alicia Scott