Every Tuesday, Anne Schuler arrives at the Senior Center around 11:30 a.m. When she gets there, she checks her route sheet to see how many deliveries she has scheduled that day and loads her car with healthy, hearty meals. As a Meals on Wheels volunteer, Schuler delivers around a dozen meals each week along her East Jackson route, while other volunteers tackle different parts of town, like Rafter J and West Jackson.
This week, she’s delivering a turkey sandwich, salad, mixed fruit bowl, brownie, and milk. Some days, it’s a simple entree like a sandwich and other days she brings more elaborate hot meals. Many seniors prefer having a meal delivered rather than venturing out to the Senior Center for lunch, especially in the winter when the ground is icy, and Schuler and other volunteers are more than happy to deliver. People review the menu to see which meals they’d like to order and sign up ahead of time for deliveries. Meals are offered five days a week. The Senior Center suggests seniors contribute $4 per meal, and many save part of their hearty lunch for dinner.
“It’s a great resource and an affordable way to get a balanced meal,” Schuler says. “You don’t need to be unable to walk to get a meal. People don’t mind delivering it, and the Senior Center doesn’t mind cooking it, so people should take advantage.”
Sometimes, Schuler will stay and chat for a while if the meal recipient feels like talking. Other times, clients are eager to eat their meals and don’t feel too talkative, so she makes her delivery and then heads on to the next one. “I just like connecting with the clients,” she says. “Everyone is so appreciative.”
Schuler began volunteering with the organization in Jackson three years ago, and she also used to volunteer for Meals on Wheels back when she lived in New York City. Fifteen years ago Schuler decided she was “done with the rat race in the city” and came out to Jackson, where she quickly became involved with the community. She serves on the board of the Soroptimists, a women’s service organization that aims to improve the lives of women and girls, is board president for the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center, and is on the Town Planning Commission. “I’m passionate about health and human services and passionate about the town itself,” she says.
Schuler also owns a cleaning company called Brilliantly Done and, in her free time, she cross-country and downhill skis, plays tennis, hikes, and enjoys time with her two Labradoodles, Leo and Bandit.
She encourages others to get involved with community service, even if they’re nervous. “They shouldn’t be afraid because everyone is so accepting and willing to show them the ropes,” she says. “I enjoy this community, the people in this community, and giving back.”