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KEEPING SENIORS AT HOME, WHERE THEY WANT TO BE

Through one of the most successful social solutions in America.

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    ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS

    Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through our network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs. While the diversity of each program's services and operations may vary based on the needs and resources of their communities, they are all committed to supporting their senior neighbors to live healthier and more nourished lives in their own homes.

    Together, we galvanize the resources of local community organizations, businesses, donors, sponsors and more than two million volunteers – bolstered by supplemental funding from the Older Americans Act – into a national safety net for our seniors.

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    PROVIDING MUCH
    MORE THAN A MEAL 

     
    At the core of the Meals on Wheels service is a nutritious meal, companionship and a watchful eye on the health and safety of our seniors. For those who have trouble getting around, we bring the service to you. For those who can still venture out into their communities, we serve in gathering places, such as senior centers and community facilities.

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    NUTRITIOUS MEAL

    Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, functionality and the ability to remain independent. Healthy eating can increase mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, recuperation speed and the ability to manage chronic health problems. Meals on Wheels ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking.

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    FRIENDLY VISIT

    For many seniors, the trusted Meals on Wheels volunteer or staff member who shows up every day with a hot meal and a warm smile is the only person they see or speak with all day. This special delivery is the reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to, and a reminder to take good care of themselves. Seniors traveling to group settings for meals also receive valuable social interaction and companionship. All of us can attest that a meal can be much more than the food on the plate, but also the company across the table.

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    SAFETY CHECK

    Along with the inevitable impacts of aging come the increased risks of medical emergencies, falls and other accidents. The safety check that accompanies each meal delivery ensures that, in the case of an emergency or problem, medics will be called, families will be notified and our seniors will not be forgotten.

     

    WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

    ADDITIONAL SERVICES

    Some community programs are able to offer additional services that further support the quality of life and independence of their clients. These can include pet food delivery for clients' pets, home repair services, telephone reassurance and transportation services for doctor appointments and other needs. Some programs offer meals to meet special dietary needs, cultural or ethnic preferences, and other programs serve fruits and vegetables right out of their own gardens!

    Additional services may also include emergency meals for bad weather days and hospital discharge programs that are proven to reduce readmissions. Contact your local program to see what's available in your area.

    PAYMENT

    Depending on individual circumstances, meals may be provided along a sliding fee scale, from no cost to full price. While no senior will be denied a meal because of an inability to pay, he/she may be asked to contribute voluntarily toward the cost of a meal. However, it is important to note that in many areas of the country, the need for meals far exceeds the resources available to provide them, leading to wait lists and/or being turned away.

     
    WHO QUALIFIES


    Meals on Wheels focuses on caring for individuals whose diminished mobility makes it hard to shop for food, prepare meals or socialize with others. Generally programs serve adults 60 and over, although age requirements can vary by program and areas served. People who are mobile enough to join others for meals in a group setting where seniors congregate, like senior centers and cafes, are encouraged to do so; while others less mobile may qualify for home delivery. 

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    WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED

    Most Meals on Wheels programs begin the process through an application, which may then lead to an assessment of the need for meals and other supportive services. Some programs may additionally require a referral letter from a doctor or social worker. Contact your local program to find out how to get the ball rolling in your community. 

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    FIND MEALS

    Get more info about your local program. VIEW MAP