By Elizabeth Cook

SONOMA (KPIX 5) Sometimes Meals on Wheels is the only contact recipients have with other people. This week’s Jefferson Award winners lead the Sonoma program, delivering caring — and cake — to dozens every day.

To make lunch and dinner for 60 people every day, you need a well-oiled assembly line.

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“Well you gird your loins and push up your sleeves and say, “Let’s do this again!” Sue Holman said with a smile, as volunteers rushed around her in the kitchen.

One typical menu: Italian meatloaf roll, roasted potatoes, Waldorf salad, and of course, cake. There’s always cake.

“Volunteering is supposed to be fun,” Susan Weeks said. “If it’s not fun, don’t do it.”

Every single day for more than 20 years, the pair has been preparing food for people who can’t do it themselves, and delivering it through Meals on Wheels in Sonoma.

Much of the food is purchased with donations, but a lot comes straight from Sue and Susan’s own pockets.

On an average day, the women cook and help deliver nutritious food to more than five dozen homebound people. They provide nourishment and human contact, and they don’t get a dime in return.

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“If we can get them re-enthused about eating and food, it’s a very important first step to bringing them back,” Holman explained.

Lynette Peters used to volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Now she’s a client.

“There is always a piece of cake and I think, ‘I’m not going to eat the cake.’ Then I say, ‘Oh maybe just a little!'” Peters laughed.

Holman and Weeks volunteer more than 40 hours a week. Their goal is to get their clients strong enough to go it alone.

:Nothing makes us happier than someone calling us after two months or three months and saying, ‘We don’t need your service, I can do it on my own now, but thank you so much!'” Holman said.

So for warming the hearts and stomachs of homebound people in Sonoma, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Sue Holman and Susan Weeks.

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You can reach Sonoma Meals on Wheels by phone at 707-935-9141 or by mail at P.O. Box 622, Sonoma, CA 95476.

Elizabeth Cook