PRESQUE ISLE — Erin S. Walsh has been recently promoted to manager of nutrition services at the Aroostook Agency on Aging. In her new role, Walsh oversees and supports nutrition services provided through Meals on Wheels, Congregate Dining and the Senior Commodity Program throughout northern Maine.
According to the Agency’s Executive Director Joy Barresi Saucier, “Erin has been an integral team leader in our growing nutrition programs. She embraces the importance of special dietary needs and will continue to be a major part of planning our services to older adults going forward.”
“I love what I do,” Walsh said. “This is not just a job for me. I don’t want anyone to go without food, but it is especially important that these consumers get proper nutrition and have a proper balanced diet. Serving them is my passion.”
Walsh started working at the Aroostook Agency on Aging in 2018, assisting with scheduling and planning nutrition programs. She brings experience to her new position from working in restaurants, a family catering business and coordinating appointments at a medical office.
Overseeing Meals on Wheels, Walsh is responsible for ordering, tracking and coordinating volunteer distribution of both frozen and ready-to-eat hot meals. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, meal deliveries have doubled, she said. With the help of approximately 25 volunteers, hundreds of consumers are served nutritious entrees. Depending on location, some meals are served daily, while others are delivered every other week.
The Congregate Dining program is temporarily closed due to pandemic restrictions and normally serves consumers at locations in Presque Isle, Caribou, Van Buren, Madawaska, Fort Kent and Grand Isle. Walsh is hopeful sit-down meals will resume when it is safe again to do so, pending Maine CDC guidelines.
Another popular nutrition initiative for the Agency is the USDA Commodity Supplemental Food Program, more commonly known as the senior food box program. Each month, staff members identify and enroll older persons or those with disabilities to receive the service. Catholic Charities assists in the effort.
Noting that all of the Agency nutrition programs are important, Walsh praises the volunteers who help make it happen, “Volunteers are the backbone and are crucial to our success. Not only do they distribute healthy food, they are caring people, concerned about the well-being of our clients. We can always welcome more volunteers.”
Walsh grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Maine and graduated from Presque Isle High School in 1992. She holds an associate’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and is currently a full-time student enrolled in the bachelor of business administration program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Walsh resides in Presque Isle with her two children. For more information on nutrition or any other service of the Aroostook Agency on Aging, call the main office at 207-764-3396 or toll-free at 1-800-439-1789.