The Utah County Food and Shelter Coalition needs volunteers - both groups and individuals - to help with their hot meal program for homeless and low-income people.

Volunteers are needed for the meal program Monday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. Volunteers help reheat and serve the prepared food donated by the communtiy.The homeless population is much smaller in Utah County than in Salt Lake City, said Marilee Shelton, Food and Shelter Coalition director, but there is still a need for volunteers. The coalition needs mostly small groups of volunteers to help with the meals.

The Food and Shelter Coalition serves an average of 40 people a day, Shelton said. Groups of 20 or more who are interested in feeding the homeless should consider helping at the Salt Lake shelters where there are larger groups to feed.

Shelton also said that individual volunteers are needed to commit to help with the meals on a regular basis, such as one evening a week.

Individual volunteers are also needed to serve in the office at the Food and Shelter Coalition. Office volunteers help answer lines, greet clients, make referrals to other agencies, and handle basic office responsibilities. These volunteers must commit to working a regular shift each week.

Beside helping at the meal site, community people are also needed to donate food to the Food and Shelter Coalition. Pre-cooked meals may be brought in to be warmed up for dinner; sack lunches may be donated (about 30 lunches are needed each day); and individual food items are also needed. The food need not be commercially prepared.

According to Shelton, another specific item that the Food and Shelter Coalition currently needs are plastic placemats.

Volunteers who are interested in getting involved with the Food and Shelter Coalition may call the United Way Volunteer Center for more information at 374-8108.