Meals on Wheels - Senior Meals Programs

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Meals On Wheels

What is Meals on Wheels?
Finding a Meals on Wheels provider
Donating to Meals on Wheels

Many people think that Meals on Wheels is a nationally run organization or a set of Federal programs that are similar to Medicare.  Neither is the case.  

Related Links

Check out MealCall.org for information on congregate and Meals-on-Wheels organizations near you.

Meals on Wheels is a generic term to define organizations that have the primary function of providing meals for seniors in their homes.  

Though Meals on Wheels organizations exist nationwide, they are not run by any one company or organizations, and are not the part of any Federal agency.  They are loosely affiliated organizations (usually staffed by volunteers) that are run by churches, civic-minded individuals, senior residence homes, and some local and state funded agencies.

Not all such programs use the "Meals on Wheels" name.  Others use a different name, but basically do the same job.  At a local level, these organizations are highly efficient in providing meals for seniors who need some nutritional help at home and many offer the chance for a personal visit as well.  You will seldom see any other program that works at this level of efficiency.  

But do not mistake the value and efficiencies of these local organizations with government agencies or any national organization.

Each local organization is run independently and has their own rules, though most are very similar.  Each local Meals on Wheels sets their own prices and many have a 'pay if or as you can' policy, while others have a minimum charge.  Each local organization is responsible for bringing on new volunteers to deliver meals, and each sets their own criteria for inclusion in their program.  

Finding a Meals on Wheels Program

Finding a local Meals on Wheels isn't hard. 
Click Here to find a Meals-on-Wheels near you.

Many Meals on Wheels programs also have waiting lists.  In other words, do not wait till the last minute to make contact.  If you are on a waiting list, you will probably have to wait for additional funds, volunteers, or someone to come off their current list.  

Local MOW organizations need your help.

Donating (and volunteering) to your Meals on Wheels

Most local Meals on Wheels organizations need and accept donations, and all require volunteers to complete their mission.  SeniorMag recommends that you make any donations ONLY through the local organization rather than any national organization. 

While there are several self-appointed national membership organizations that will be glad to take your money, donating to them means that virtually none of your donation ends up as food for seniors. It is use almost exclusively in an administrative capacity, and to pay the wages of the organization's administrators.  We recommend keeping your donations local.

Meals on Wheels organization can generally only take donations from individuals in the form of cash rather than food or supplies.  Many generous and well-intended people wish to donate left over food supplies from restaurants, family gatherings, etc.  

Unfortunately, while these are almost certainly of high quality and value, Meals on Wheels programs are charged with knowing the nutritional content of every meal they put out, and they must abide by regulations that determine who and how food is handled.  Please know that your intentions are well-respected and appreciated.  However, receiving food from third-party sources cannot be done.

If you want to donate funds to a Meals on Wheels organization and are not sure who to contact, check with the people at MealCall.org who will guide you to local meal charities that really need your help.  MealCall however, will NOT accept your donations directly.  

When you donate to your local Meals on Wheels, each local dollar means food for a local area resident.  

 

 

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