ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — 81-year-old Ashwaubenon resident Daniel Neuman has been serving all his life. A veteran, he served four years in the Navy. Before that, he was a volunteer firefighter in his teenage years.
These days, Neuman serves his community in a different way. Each week, he hits the road to deliver meals to those in need as a volunteer with the Brown County Aging & Disability Resource Center's Homebound Meals Program.
“People are really happy to see you," Neuman said. "I try to goof off, like if there’s soup on the menu I’ll say hey it’s "souper" Tuesday.”
We followed Neuman on one of his delivery routes. Naturally a people person, he says it’s one of the highlights of his week.
"It brings a smile and I'll say 'How are you?' or 'It's a beautiful day in Wisconsin', stuff like that," Neuman said.
That's why leaders with the program say it's so much more than just a meal. Volunteers also perform wellness checks and offer socialization for seniors who are homebound.
"That brief hello and having a reason to get up and see somebody that day, for a lot of our customers that driver may be the only person they see," said Nutrition Program Coordinator Kimberly Gould.
The program has been around for more than 50 years, first beginning in the 1970s. Today, it serves around 600 seniors throughout Brown County who are unable to safely prepare meals on their own.
Gould says the need for the program ballooned during the pandemic and has held steady ever since. She tries to manage routes to avoid having a waitlist but the program is in need of more volunteers like Neuman.
"You set the schedule that works for you," Gould said. "We have some drivers who deliver once a week, other drivers who deliver once a month or are with us just for the summer or just for the winter. So it’s really whatever works for our volunteers."
Neuman encourages others to volunteer their time with the program if they are able to. He says seeing the smiles on the faces of the customers is what makes the experience so rewarding.
"If you're a people person it helps you fall right in line," Neuman said.
If you'd like to volunteer, you can fill out an online application at adrcofbrowncounty.org or call the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (920) 448-4300.