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Meals on Wheels feeds seniors

Jerry Carlson and Boni Fuentes stopped to chat during Carlson’s Meals on Wheels route earlier this month. The two have been friends for more than 30 years. Photo by LaReesa Sandretsky.1 / 2
Jerry Carlson unloads meals to be delivered to seniors in Two Harbors. Carlson fills in for regular drivers when they can’t make it and has been volunteering with Community Partners for a year and a half. Photo by LaReesa Sandretsky.2 / 2

Every weekday around 11:30 a.m., Boni Fuentes hears a knock on the door. When he opens it, a volunteer is always there, with a warm meal and a smile.

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Earlier this month, his old friend Jerry Carlson was at the door, holding a hearty lunch from the Meals on Wheels program. The two exchanged pleasantries and had a short chat about the weather before Carlson was out the door again and onto the next house.

“I just love doing this,” Carlson said, checking Fuentes’s name off his list. “These people are so thankful.”

Carlson, 73, has spent a year and a half volunteering for Community Partners, the program that coordinates volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program. Lake View Memorial Hospital prepares the meals which are funded by the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

Homebound seniors in Two Harbors participating in the program, get a nutritious, hearty meal delivered every weekday. Many of them have a hard time leaving the house to do grocery shopping and lack of mobility makes it difficult to prepare a healthy lunch or dinner.

“Without this program, some of them wouldn’t eat,” Carlson said between stops on his route.

Atsome of the houses, people are waiting by their front doors to receive their meals. At one home, a woman has left a gift along with intructions to oleave the meal on the porch. At another Carlson walks in the front door, says hello and sets the meal on the kitchen table before heading out again.

The recipients expect the meals and are grateful for the delivery.

“They’re our angels,” one said. “I don’t know what I would do without it,” said another.

Meals on Wheels is just one aspect of Community Partners’ efforts to keep seniors in their homes as long as possible. Other volunteers take seniors to medical appointments, help them with grocery shopping, shoveling or snow blowing, and a variety of odd jobs.

Director Kirsten Cruikshank said that more volunteers are always welcome and seniors benefit in numerous ways from the help provided. To find out more about volunteering, visit or call 834-8024.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
(218) 834-2141