The Edmond Sun

January 7, 2013

Edmond Mobile Meals under new leadership

Organization hires director, nutritionist; group delivers lunches, smiles

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond Mobile Meals has hired two employees to fill the void left by former Executive Director Teresa Hoehner, who retired Dec. 21.

Taking on the position of executive director is Piper Riggs, and Toni Washington has been hired as the new food service coordinator.

What started as a volunteer job has turned into a full-time position for Riggs. She first started delivering meals to shut-ins with EMM.

“I was a volunteer with Edmond Mobile Meals through Leadership Edmond,” Riggs said. Before coming to EMM she worked at Mid-America Christian University in the Advancement office.

After volunteering for mobile meals, Riggs said she found she had a real passion for the organization.

“Delivering meals became very personal opportunity for me to meet and see the people I get to help and work with,” Riggs said.

Assistant Director Bonnie Thornton has been with Edmond Mobile Meals for two years and will be working with Riggs and the newly hired Food Service Coordinator Toni Washington. Washington came from Ardmore where she previously served as the director of a day center. While in Ardmore Washington started a program called Kids Can Cook.

With her move to Edmond she brings with her not only a background in food service working as a caterer, she also was an active volunteer in Ardmore. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma.

“My initial goal is to become a viable member of the community and to bring more of a diverse menu to the recipients,” Washington said. “I am also hoping to aid in Teresa’s retirement.”

“We are lucky to have these two well-loved, talented and remarkable people on the EMM team,” Hoehner said. “Their support, that of our engaged and vibrant board of directors and that of all our amazing volunteers will make for a smooth transition for the new executive director.”

Fundraiser, ‘Love is in the Air’ to be Feb. 15

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is the setting for the yearly Edmond Mobile Meals fundraiser. At this time organizers are selling tickets for $50 each, and looking for sponsors.

“Underwriting sponsors will receive two tickets for the event,” Riggs said, “and a sponsorship is $1,000 and a major sponsor spot is $5,000.

The event will include a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing to a live band and a silent auction.

With the food cost increases this past year, Riggs said one of the challenges they are facing is covering the rising cost of the food for the meals including the cost of a carton of milk that comes with each meal.

EMM serves 185 to 200 meals a day, and Riggs said 398 clients were served in 2012.

“Some of our clients had been released from the hospital and needed help for a short time, while the rest of our clients were served daily,” Riggs said.

Volunteers needed

At this time Mobile Meals is delivering food to home-bound residents on 11 routes and has a waiting list for a 12th route.

“In addition to finding drivers for another route, we need to relieve the drivers we have now,” Hoehner said.

“Because of the economy and the fact we have a society with a larger number that is aging, we are having more requests than we can handle.”

Hoehner said she has been looking for corporations and businesses large or small that are willing to drive a route one or more days a month to supplement the volunteer drivers Mobile Meals already has.

The volunteers benefit as well as the recipients who are primarily homebound, unable to easily prepare nutritious meals, without consistent daytime assistance from another person and live In the Edmond area.

Community members receiving the meals are able to eat a nutritious lunch as well as have daily contact and a quick check to make sure the recipient is OK as well as some savings on grocery bills.

For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer call Mobile Meals at 341-3111.