Delivering meals to those in need

David Hobbs Honda employees helped homebound residents with yard work through Horizon Home Care and Hospice’s Meals on Wheels program.
David Hobbs Honda employees helped homebound residents with yard work through Horizon Home Care and Hospice’s Meals on Wheels program.

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:36 pm

David Hobbs Honda is in its second year of a partnership with Milwaukee-based Horizon Home Care and Hospice to provide vulnerable members of the community with prepared, well-balanced meals.

Since 2018, employees with the Glendale car dealership, including chief executive officer Greg Hobbs, have volunteered to deliver meals weekly through Horizon’s Meals on Wheels program. About 15 employees have signed up to run the routes, which include around 10 stops.

For employees who have tried it, it isn’t a hard sell to keep them engaged in the program, according to Hobbs

“Everybody who has decided to sign up for it, once they do it once, they automatically say, ‘I get it. I get why you do this,’” said Hobbs, who takes on a monthly Meals on Wheels shift. “They all love it. It really is rewarding for everybody to feel involved with the community.”

Meals on Wheels provides fresh meals, prepared by Davian’s Catering, to homebound individuals every week, Monday through Friday. The program is operated by Horizon, a private nonprofit that also provides home care, hospice, private duty and non-medical care services.

The program relies on volunteers to ensure the food gets to those who need it. It also provides an important human connection for those receiving the meals.

“It’s a social experience; every day, someone comes to your house,” said Mary Haynor, president and chief executive officer of Horizon. “Because we’re a health care organization, all a (homebound resident) has to do is tell their driver if something is wrong and that will set into motion a series of actions to resolve what’s wrong … It serves a dual purpose. It’s socialization, somebody is checking on them, and they are receiving food that is balanced and prepared.”

During the polar vortex earlier this year, Greg Hobbs said, his employee volunteers were able to ensure the homebound residents were safe.

“We could ask, ‘Are you OK? Are you warm? Do you have heat?’” he said. “Just caring for people.”

Additionally, David Hobbs Honda employees have provided yard work to the homebound individuals on their route, along with financial contributions to Horizon.

“I’m a strong believer that, while there are many great charities out there and some of them are very big, our little organization here can’t have a lot of effect on some of those national campaigns,” Greg Hobbs said.  “Whereas, local involvement within our community has a much bigger effect, and certainly for the dollars we spend. It certainly helps our employees become engaged in what we’re doing.”

While many individuals volunteer to deliver meals, Haynor said the David Hobbs Honda team’s commitment to the program is special.

“It’s generally individuals (who volunteer) and we’ve had some organizations, but none as persistent or longstanding as the Hobbs group,” Haynor said. “They have stuck with it, which is a credit to Greg and his team … They’re called the ‘Dealer for the People,’ so for them to go into the communities and serve people, it’s a good way for them to reach out and touch the community.”

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.

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