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Need for volunteers continues after holidays as help drops off

Eau Claire (WQOW) — Every year, the spirit of giving is clear during the holiday season, with many giving back to the community, but the need for help doesn’t just end after the new year.

Every day, the Community Table serves hundreds of meals in Eau Claire.

“We depend on volunteers for 99 percent of our labor,” said Peter Raliegh, operations manager for the Community Table. “If we didn’t have volunteers, we would not be in business.”

The Community Table’s Executive Director Michelle Koehn told News 18 their volunteers are the foundation to help those in need.

“Without the six to 12 individuals that come in on a daily basis to prepare, cook, serve the meals and maintain our commercial facility, we certainly couldn’t deliver our mission of ending food insecurity without them,” Koehn said.

While they get more volunteers during the holiday season, that can dwindle into the new year.

“All of our meals are prepared by volunteers, a lot of our mailings are done by volunteers, we’ve got special projects,” Raliegh said. “There’s any assortment of things you can do as a volunteer, and we never turn anybody away.”

The need for volunteers throughout the year was echoed by staff at Feed My People Food Bank.

“We know that our mission doesn’t stop after the holidays and that the need is year-round, so it’s always wonderful to still have volunteers coming back, even in the next couple of months,” said volunteer coordinator, Nick Bursaw.

Both organization officials agreed any volunteer can make an impact, and they encourage you to give your time throughout the year.

“We are able to match volunteers with just about any different kind of aspect of helping out here,” said Bursaw. “We have tons of different types of opportunities for all differently types of volunteers.”

“Whatever you don’t know, we’ll teach you. Whatever we don’t know you’ll teach us,” added Koehn. “You are going to be a part of a community of over 3,000 people who love helping others.”

If you would like to volunteer for the Community Table, or Feed My People Food Bank, you can find more information here and here

Samantha Wensel

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