Meal Site Volunteer Connects to People – and their Stories

Bev School retired twice. The former medical transcriptionist left the field about four years ago and then in 2018.

But she did not retire from being active in the community. When she became aware that the Outagamie County Nutrition Program needed help with its meal service program at Oneida Heights Apartments, she answered the call.

RSVP volunteer Bev School dishes up lunch at Oneida Heights Apartments, one of the congregate meal sites of the Outagamie County Nutrition Program. Larry Becher, a resident of Oneida Heights, volunteers regularly to take trays of food to the tables.

Today, she volunteers at the Appleton congregate meal site on Tuesdays. She explains that this volunteer role gets her out of the house and gives her a chance to give back and meet other people. Plus, the food is good (and the deserts are good, too)!

“It’s a good variety,” she said. “I know my dad is a meat and potatoes man and he would never go out and buy fruit and vegetables and this gives people who are like my dad an opportunity to have a more balanced meal.”

The people who come for lunch are age 60 and older. School said they enjoy seeing each other and socializing. She also enjoys getting to know them, as well as other volunteers.

Time commitment is about one hour to 1½ hours. School said the volunteer role is very easy – basically helping to serve the food, collect the trays, rinse off the dishes and wiping the tables.

“When you’re wiping down the tables you have a chance to have a conversation with the people you are serving,” she said. “I have made friends through that and it’s fun to hear everyone’s story.”

Carol Bloemer, the director of RSVP, notes that since 2000, eight RSVP volunteers have assisted with the meals, either serving or delivering.

“Serving 2 hours at a time does not add up very fast, but the volunteers were able to rack up almost 800 hours during this time period,” she said.

When School is not serving meals, she occasionally pops in to entertain the folks with her flute. School is a member of the New Horizon’s Band, which is a teaching band for adults who want to learn how to play instruments.

“They enjoy it and it gives me a chance to play solos,” she said.

Twice a month she also drives for Make the Ride Happen and once a week she helps at St. Joseph Food Program, where she helps distribute bread to clients. She also volunteers at the Thompson Center on Lourdes, where she is a receptionist and helps with special projects.

In addition to volunteering, School enjoys hand embroidery, reading and spending time with her husband, Mark, at their cottage.

Want to make a difference?

Outagamie County Nutrition Program meal site volunteers are needed during various shifts to pack meals, set tables, serve meals and assist with cleanup at meal sites in Hortonville, Kaukauna, Oneida Heights in Appleton and Seymour. Choose a location and sign up! For more information, contact Monica Pomasl at 920-968-2414 or