For the first time ever, Meals on Wheels America worked with our association membership of local community-based Meals on Wheels programs to develop a comprehensive, data-driven national profile of Meals on Wheels clients and the programs that serve them. The More Than a Meal® Comprehensive Network Study – conducted by Trailblazer Research and funded by Aetna, a CVS Health company – expands our More Than a Meal® body of research to present a complete look at the demographics of seniors receiving Meals on Wheels services, the extent of offerings provided by local programs and the organizational make-up of those programs, highlighting the impact Meals on Wheels makes every day in the lives of seniors in need.
The More Than a Meal® Comprehensive Network Study reflects the findings of a robust data collection effort conducted between 2018 and 2019, and the resulting report reflects the needs and composition of local Meals on Wheels programs and the seniors they served within this timeframe. Since this research was conducted and the report was initially compiled, however, the COVID-19 public health crisis has had a significant impact on the national Meals on Wheels network. Now, local programs are facing a dramatic increase in requests for meals, soaring costs, shifts in volunteer bases and other unfamiliar challenges that are not captured within this report. Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19, and Meals on Wheels programs are showing up on the front lines every day, focused on doing all they can to keep older Americans safe and nourished in communities across the country.
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