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Loaves and Fishes: Stepping up to serve

Special to The PREVIEW

 

Photo courtesy Sally NeelHeads of volunteer organizations serving Loaves and Fishes met in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street last week to meet new volunteer coordinator Mercy Korsgren and receive instruction and orientation regarding responsibilities.  In front, from left are Mercy Korsgren; Cynthia Gonzales, Pagosa First Assembly; Debra Moore, Pagosa Cowboy Church; Kay Dean, Pagosa First Assembly; Joan Ward, Pagosa Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. In back are Nancy Crouse, Loaves and Fishes; Gina Fullerton, Centerpoint Church;  Mary McKeehan, Rotary; Joyce Ryan, Homemakers; Darlene Cassio, John Paul II Catholic Church; Phyl Daleske, Pagosah Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship;  Gwen Bartley, Loaves and Fishes.  

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
Heads of volunteer organizations serving Loaves and Fishes met in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street last week to meet new volunteer coordinator Mercy Korsgren and receive instruction and orientation regarding responsibilities.  In front, from left are Mercy Korsgren; Cynthia Gonzales, Pagosa First Assembly; Debra Moore, Pagosa Cowboy Church; Kay Dean, Pagosa First Assembly; Joan Ward, Pagosa Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. In back are Nancy Crouse, Loaves and Fishes; Gina Fullerton, Centerpoint Church;  Mary McKeehan, Rotary; Joyce Ryan, Homemakers; Darlene Cassio, John Paul II Catholic Church; Phyl Daleske, Pagosah Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship;  Gwen Bartley, Loaves and Fishes.

Members of the board of Loaves and Fishes met this past week with representatives of churches and organizations that have volunteered to cook and serve hot meals on Thursdays at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

Hot meals are served year-round each Thursday from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. and are free to all who come to be fed. Each week Loaves and Fishes feeds over 200 people who seek a healthy, well balanced, hot meal.

These meals could not happen without community volunteers. The volunteers plan the meal, purchase the ingredients, prepare the food, serve, and clean up. Loaves and Fishes provides the meat and bread. Condiments, desert, and drinks are also provided. Loaves and Fishes also provides recipes if requested. The dedication and hours involved in cooking for over 200 people is truly a community volunteer effort.

Loaves and Fishes has the process down to a science and things run surprisingly smoothly. New volunteer coordinator Mercy Korsgren is there to help make sure no group feels unsupported. She is available to answer questions, make sure everyone understands the process, and help in whatever ways are needed.

“We are very happy to have Mercy on the board and that she has agreed to take over this position,” said the organization president, Nancy Crouse. “She is a whiz at organizing volunteers and is a joy to work with. We are very grateful to her for stepping up to serve Loaves and Fishes in this important role.

“We still need other organizations to serve,” said Crouse. “We have a number of groups who have been working with Loaves and Fishes for many years. We have others who are brand new. Each group has found that this is a very meaningful way to serve members of our community.”

It is up to the organization as to how often they want to serve. Some volunteer once a month, some once a quarter, others once a year.

“We work to help accommodate each organization’s preferences. Some organizations are too small to do it all, so they come in and help other groups. We are always happy to have volunteers in whatever capacity they want to serve,” said Crouse.

If you wish to be a part of the Loaves and Fishes team of volunteers, call Mercy Korsgren at (970) 317-4767 or stop by the Parish Hall any Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

This story was posted on January 24, 2013.