“44 alright!” Melinda Vias looks on as volunteers count burritos fresh off the stove top.
“Do we have quesadilla on? Cool okay!”
Every Sunday night Melinda and a group of volunteers gather at the Dubuque Rescue Mission to make burritos and sandwiches, but they’re not for them.
Melinda says, “Our approach is always have you had dinner yet tonight?”
The Urban Bicycle Food Mission has been delivering meals on wheels, bike wheels that is, every Sunday night for the past 8 weeks.
“We just ride through the community to look for people that could be in need.”
Since August Melinda and her team have delivered over 500 meals throughout the downtown area.
“A burrito or a sandwich might not be a magical change for them but it’s letting them know that someone recognizes that they are struggling and that they matter.”
And while Melinda might not see it as a magical change, those on her route may beg to differ.
Heather says, “When people give like that the ladies feel that they’re valued and so it just kind of brings a calming presence to what could otherwise be a kind of traumatic time in their lives.”
Teresa Shelter Program Director Heather LuGrain sees the effect that the weekly stops at the shelter have on the women inside.
So despite the cold and despite the rain, Melinda and her riders make stop… after stop… after stop.
Because at the end of the day the goal is simple: “Be dependable and consistent in where we go and let those people know that they can count on us to be there.”
The Urban Bicycle Mission Group is always looking for new riders and food assemblers.
With the weather getting colder they will be adopting their cold weather policy and delivering in cars through the winter months.