Trimble takes over as meal program coordinator at Brookfield Senior Center

Comes to Brookfield after managing Sussex site

Virginia Trimble is the new senior meal site coordinator at the Brookfield Senior Center.

Virginia Trimble is the new senior meal site coordinator at the Brookfield Senior Center. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Jan. 21, 2014

The location changed, and the people she's working with are different.

But for Virginia Trimble, the goal has never wavered: Help the elderly in the community.

That's what she has been doing for the last 12 years. She started by volunteering with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Waukesha County.

"I went into the homes and did reassessments and confirmed that the people were still eligible for the meal program," Trimble said.

She got further involved in the Waukesha County Meal Program, which operates senior dining sites and delivers meals daily to homebound seniors in Waukesha County, when she took over as the manager of the Sussex site.

Now, with longtime Brookfield site manager Darla Klass having retired in November, Trimble has moved to the Brookfield location, which is operated at the Brookfield Senior Center. She started in December.

Trimble lives in Ottawa but grew up in Brookfield, and she said the job will be a "perfect fit" because she and her husband plan on downsizing and moving to the area in the future.

"We're very familiar with Brookfield," Trimble said. "I could find my way around with a blindfold."

It's also a perfect fit because of her passion for the meal program and seniors. She is responsible for coordinating the delivery of up to 50 meals each day, making sure there are enough drivers and outlining their schedules.

A lunchtime meal also is served at the Brookfield Senior Center.

Although she leads the effort, she credits the volunteers who deliver the meals every day.

"When I think about the meal program, first and foremost, it's all about the volunteers," Trimble said. "They're the heart and soul of the program and lifeblood of what we do."

In the future, she would like to initiate a wellness program called "Living Well with Chronic Conditions." It serves people of all ages who have chronic illnesses, helping them learn self-management techniques.

"I'm looking forward to getting that started," said Trimble, who has volunteered with this program in Sussex and Dousman.

Whether it's through volunteering or the meal program, it's all about helping others.

"I'm definitely a people person," Trimble said. "The opportunity you have to build a relationship with the community and volunteers that frequently come to the senior center, it's just wonderful. There's nothing more that I love than people, especially seniors."

When she went into the homes of these seniors in the early days of her volunteering, it was more than a reassessment check.

"As an outreach volunteer, one of the goals is to go into homes and have conversations with people to understand the bigger picture of their lives and maybe provide them with other services," Trimble said. "Besides giving them home-delivered meals, we encourage our drivers to watch what the temperature is during the summer and heat in the winter."

When wind chills recently dipped to dangerous lows, the county shut down the meal program for two days. That caused Trimble concern, but she knows the county had a plan in place.

"We knew we were going to be closed before we left on that Friday morning, so we sent a letter to every client to give them a heads up," Trimble said. "What the county does provide for clients is food equivalent to two meals and they were given those shelf-stable meals prior to the shut down."

When she returned to the center, she was ready to continue the service that her predecessor did so successfully.

"I would never attempt to fill Darla's shoes," said Trimble, who continues to get to know all the volunteers' names and faces. "We do things similar, but also different. I'm confident that the seniors will be comfortable with my personality."

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