District 5 employees honored for participation
in annual Meals on Wheels program
ITD’s District 5 has proven it cares about more than keeping the wheels of commerce and private vehicles turning. Employees also ensure those same wheels maintain the flow of life-sustaining meals to those who cannot easily access transportation.
The Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency (SEICAA) presented its annual service award to district representatives this week, acknowledging ongoing support for the organization’s Meals on Wheels program.
Barbara Bates and retired district employee Jeri Ross accepted the award on behalf of their District 5 colleagues during the annual Stone Soup fundraiser in Pocatello Oct. 20.
“They have been instrumental in organizing our donations to Meals on Wheels recipients for many years, and I thank them for their efforts,” said Gina Hall financial unit supervisory for the district. “I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in D-5 who contributes their time, money and gifts each year to support SEICAA and Meals on Wheels. Your generosity by giving back to our communities is greatly appreciated.”
District employees have a long history of donating gifts to recipients of Meals on Wheels who are either housebound and or don’t have family near them to assist during the holidays.
Every year before Christmas, Hall receives a list of personal items that Meals on Wheels clients need. District employees work hard to fill those needs. “They always ask for so very little, like cookies, socks or fruit, that we are usually able to accommodate their requests and more,” Hall explains.
If employees are able, they sign up to purchase one or more items on the request list. They also set aside a time to wrap the gifts, while enjoying doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate.
“Each year we like to give them small care packages of unopened, small toiletries like the kind you get at hotels or sample sizes you can get at department stores. The recipients are always so thankful for everything we do for them,” Hall said.
The Stone soup fundraising dinner began 20 years ago and has grown into an important annual observance of the Pocatello community. It generally attracts more than 1,000 patrons each year.
The event derives its name from the folktale about Stone Soup, in which neighbors bring together what they have to benefit those in need. “Stone Soup donations, ticket proceeds and silent auction funds go directly to the individuals in need and are outside the ability of SEICAA to provide.