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Thanksgiving meals delivered to thousands of local seniors

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Thousands of local seniors had a Thanksgiving meal delivered to their doors last week, thanks to volunteers from a Milwaukee organization -- Community Projects For Seniors

In just one day, it packaged and delivered more than 4,200 hot meals to low-income seniors.  

Jeff Hansen is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit.  He and his team have been delivering free meals since 1986.

"Being alone on the holidays can be very depressing.  That's what we try to prevent," Hansen said.

About 200 volunteers packed into the gymnasium at the Marian Center for Non-Profits, forming two long and efficient assembly lines.  Cooked turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans were packed into boxes, sealed with a card, and loaded into volunteers' cars to be delivered to seniors.  Each boxed meal also received a piece of pumpkin pie.

But food is just a starting point.

"Our volunteers spend time with the seniors.  They visit with them," Hansen said. "They're shut-in and can't easily get to other free meal sites."

"We wanted Thanksgiving to mean more than just us eating," one volunteer said as she wrapped cellophane around a boxed dinner.  "This is just what we do."

Volunteers reached more than 200 sites in eight counties in southeastern Wisconsin, Hansen said.  And the work continues at Christmas and Easter.

"We always need volunteers.  We can never stop," Hansen said.

To connect with Community Projects For Seniors, or to volunteer at Christmas or Easter, call (414) 444-6544 or visit its official website.

This story was originally published in 2012.