Food programs, such as meal site kitchens, were not readily available to the aging population of the very isolated rural regions of Sawyer County, Wis.
Senior Resource Center implemented a pilot project in which a food trailer (named the Timber Grill) would visit isolated rural parts of the county to provide meals and general medical services to older adults who would otherwise not receive these services in their communities. Representatives from Senior Resource Center completed a Food Truck course and Entrepreneurial Training program. They were then awarded a grant to revitalize the county’s four meal site kitchens by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This is the first time that a food trailer has been used for this purpose in the state of Wisconsin. They began the program by identifying 10 of the most isolated and underserved areas in the county and contacting businesses to request usage of their property and facilities for meal events for seniors. Local organizations and churches were asked for assistance and volunteers to either provide rides to the homebound or to deliver meals to their homes. In addition to meals, other services provided through the trailer included flu shots, blood pressure screenings and memory checks.
The Timber Grill food trailer provided meals and services to approximately 400 residents through 10 outreach events held in some of the most rural isolated areas of northern Wisconsin. The Timber Team traveled more than 500 miles on these journeys each Wednesday for several months. The pilot project has formed partnerships with communities that had previously felt left out and forgotten. Due to the success of the pilot, the program will continue. Senior Resource Center is working with local farmers to offer locally grown fruits and vegetables in the trailer and is soliciting donations from foodservice suppliers as well.
About Senior Resource Center
The Hayward site is a full commercial-certified restaurant kitchen. At this location, Senior Resource Center prepares the food that is then transported and served out of its traveling food trailer in rural areas where there are not senior center meal sites.