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How Our Greater MN Members Are Responding to COVID

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Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
United Way of Central MN
By Tammy Frohlich
Posted on 11/24/2020 12:42 PM
While many within the Red River Valley have been staying safe at home during the current pandemic, RSVP volunteers have continued to serve those most in need of ongoing services and supports. 

Early in the pandemic, RSVP secured grants from NW MN Foundation and NW Regional Sustainable Development Partnership to provide 70 7-Day Meal Kits to rural NW MN homebound seniors. Partnering with rural grocers in our 7 county region, healthy, non-perishable food items were boxed and delivered by 20 RSVP volunteers during Minnesota’s Stay at Home directive. 

Nearly all pre-COVID Grocery to Go volunteers continued shopping with or for their health compromised clients. In fact, RSVP received five new referrals since the pandemic began, all of whom have been matched with volunteers. 

Food Shelf and Home Delivered Meal volunteers maintained and/or modified services to keep their communities well provided for. During the pandemic, Karlstad Senior Meals program staff and volunteers are preparing, packaging and delivering 80 meals almost daily to area seniors! Many food shelves are seeing an increase in usage and are meeting those food security needs. 

Other volunteers have found a variety of new ways to make a difference: sewing masks (one Pennington County volunteer has sewn and donated more than 2,000!); checking in on isolated seniors; sharing copies of RSVP produced monthly Wellness Way flyer. 

Now more than ever, RSVP volunteers are meeting community and individual needs with compassion and commitment! 🙂  

Tammy Frohlich 
Program Director 
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program 
University of Minnesota 
Crookston, MN