Cristi Twenter, Edmond Chamber Woman of the Year
Q & A with Cristi Twenter, Edmond Chamber Woman of the Year
The Edmond Chamber of Commerce recognized Cristi Twenter as 2021 Prosperity Bank’s Woman of the Year. Cristi is the Executive Director of Edmond Mobile Meals, a nonprofit organization that serves more than 200 meals to homebound elderly and disabled clients daily. “The award is so well deserved,” explains Sherry Jordan, Edmond Chamber of Commerce President. “She has done extraordinary and inspirational work with Edmond Mobile Meals since she began 8 years ago. She demonstrates leadership within her organization and has worked to make Edmond Mobile Meals sustainable for years to come.”
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
I get to be a part of the lives of Edmond’s seniors and know that what we do makes a real impact in their lives. I believe our EMM staff, Chef Toni Washington & Assistant Director Cati Stanila feel the same way.
What is Mobile Meals most important challenge at this time?
In 2022, we are facing a rapidly increasing demand for our service. We’ve seen a 14% increase in the number of clients we are serving in the last year. Our priority is making sure any senior in Edmond who needs our service is enrolled immediately. Forty percent of our clients are unable to contribute anything toward the cost of their daily meals. We are working hard to make sure Edmond Mobile Meals is here and ready to serve those who need us in this community.
How does the program get funded?
We receive grants, private donations, and client contributions. We hold fundraising campaigns and partner with local businesses while also working on having an endowment fund sustain the program in the future with Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
How many active volunteers does the program have?
We have around 400 active volunteers. Daily, we have 5 or 6 volunteers in the kitchen helping Chef Toni and at least 15 volunteers to deliver the meals across 100 square miles of Edmond. We also have special groups of volunteers who help with weekend meal preparation, office assistance, and an incredible baking team that makes all the desserts we serve.
What are the benefits of volunteering for Edmond Mobile Meals?
When you prepare a meal for someone who otherwise wouldn’t have it, or meet the recipient face to face, it brings such a pure joy of knowing that your simple act of kindness truly made their day.
What does it take to become a volunteer?
Interested volunteers can visit our website to complete a simple application and background check to get started. No cooking experience is required to volunteer in our kitchen. Delivery volunteers must be 18 years old and must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance. Children and teens under 18 are welcome to deliver with an adult.
Are there other ways readers can help Mobile Meals fulfill its mission?
Donations are always needed. Readers can do that through our website. Participation in fundraising events, such as our upcoming Golf Tournament, is a great way to engage. Readers can follow us on social media and share our stories and posts to help spread awareness of our program. We’re also happy to come speak with civic, work or church groups who might want to learn more about getting involved.
To learn more, go to edmondmobilemeals.org.