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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Senior CommUnity Meals welcomes new program director

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Joe Walker MS, RDN

Volunteers of America is pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Walker as the new program director for Senior CommUnity Meals (SCM). Walker was previously employed as the program director and returns to Colorado after working remotely from Missouri as the program dietitian.

"My move to Missouri in 2015 to support my wife's promotion and to be closer to family required me to step down as program director," Walker said.

When the position became available again, Walker quickly contemplated returning to his previous role.

"After some reflection and discussions with my wife, during a lunch date, she recognized the enthusiasm and joy I expressed when talking about the program and encouraged me to apply. We both love Colorado," Walker said.

Walker graduated from Bowling Green State University, Ohio in 2007 with a graduate certificate in human nutrition and dietetics. In the same year, he earned his registered dietitian credential. He also holds a B.S. in nutrition and food systems management, with a minor in psychology and a M.S. in leadership and human development, communication emphasis from Murray State University.

The mission of the program is to prepare and deliver nutritious meals to frail and homebound seniors in Montrose, Delta and San Miguel counties, regardless of ability to pay.

"I have many hopes for the program," Walker said. "I believe there's a lot of potential for SCM to not only continue to touch the lives of those we serve, but also better collaborate with the communities that host our services. Volunteers of America provides some truly life-changing services throughout the Western Slope, and SCM is a small, but very important part of these services."

He stated there are many projects ahead for improving and expanding the program.

"It's my hope that finding and implementing further efficiencies in meal production and service, along with more collaborative (and fun) fundraising opportunities, will allow us to gradually expand our services."

His goals for the program include better awareness and communication to combat challenges.

"Funding and having enough volunteers are always our most significant concerns. I think both of these can at least be partly addressed through better awareness; better awareness of the very real issue of senior hunger, and greater awareness that our program exists specifically to address this issue.

When people know about SCM, understand our mission, and are aware of the inspiring work that we do, I really believe we'll be blessed with greater donations, support and volunteers."

Regional operations director Craig Ammermann said, "We are very pleased to have Joe returning to the SCM program director position. He has a solid understanding of the region and the nutritional needs of older adults. We look forward to supporting his goals and growth for the program."

The SCM office is now located at 350 Stafford Lane, Suite 3511 in Delta. The new office number is 874-7661. Program information can be found online at www.seniorcommunitymeals.org.

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