Meals on Wheels provides free or low-cost food to senior citizens across the nation. Thousands of nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups provide funding and transportation of food for Meals on Wheels every year.
Meals on Wheels is primarily for senior citizens who cannot leave their homes for food or prepare their own meals. These agencies, which are run by organizations such as The Salvation Army or a local government social service office, provide services to those with the greatest physical, economic and social need. Because of the great need for service, Meals on Wheels agencies are often understaffed or overwhelmed and may even have a wait list based on individual need.
All food is prepared fresh at the facility and then packaged and delivered by volunteers directly to the door. In order to be eligible for Meals on Wheels, applicants must be homebound, meaning they are not capable of leaving their residences without assistance. They must also be unable to provide for themselves and be at least 60 years old.
Because Meals on Wheels relies on funding from nonprofits and donations, some may ask for a small monetary donation from volunteers or those being helped. The program also work closely with social workers and the organizations they are a part of to provide additional services such as home and medical care. Some even provide free pet food for seniors with domestic animals.