NewBridge Madison volunteers fill Little John’s absence
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Volunteers with NewBridge Madison, who serves up over 2,000 meals a week to elderly residents in need, are stepping up after the sudden closure of most of Little John’s operations left them without a caterer.
“We basically had less than 24 hours notice that they were discontinuing. I was certainly disappointed, but we can’t dwell on that,” Jim Krueger, executive director of NewBridge Madison, said.
Nearly overnight, volunteers who typically helped serve the food turned into menu planners, bakers and chefs.
“It lets you know how good people are at stepping up and helping in times of need,” Krueger said.
While the search continues for a new caterer, volunteers old and new are coming to help.
“We had heard it on the news that the caterer was struggling and totally understood that’s probably a very difficult place to be,” Lisa Genson, a new volunteer who came to help cook with NewBridge after Little John’s closure, said.
“Glad to help,” Genson said with a smile.
Krueger says there are talks to hire multiple caterers in the future. That way meal service programs aren’t solely reliant on one food bank, and disruptions like these won’t happen again.
“We can sit here and point fingers, but that doesn’t do any good,” Krueger said.
For now, volunteers are baking bread so those in need can break bread.
“These things happen and we can’t control that,” Kreuger said. “So we just move forward the best we can.”
Little John’s announced in late January that it would have to scale back from around 16,000-17,000 meals a week to 3,000, cutting down on the majority of the contracts they have and the number of employees.
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