“So many of our clients are by themselves. For them, we deliver more than food; there’s compassion and companionship that is another kind of nourishment. It shows someone outside their family cares for them. It’s especially important when families are spread out. It reminds me of a culture from years ago where people looked out for each other. Without Meals on Wheels, I don’t know who would pick up the slack, and I know where people would end up; they fear the facility.”
Meals on Wheels delivers so much more than a nutritious daily meal to our frail, homebound seniors who are unable to prepare meals and often alone.
Compassion, companionship and peace of mind is another kind of nourishment that we provide for seniors in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties. Meals on Wheels enables folks to live with independence and dignity in their own homes.
Malnutrition and poor nutrition occurs in 15-50% of the elderly population. Well-balanced hot meals meet one third of a senior’s daily nutrition requirements and are meant to be their main meal of the day. Meals are also provided for spouses so that they can eat together and the caregivers can maintain their own health and well-being.
Home bound seniors often suffer from isolation, depression and loneliness. Just as important as the meals, caring and compassionate drivers connect with our seniors daily and deliver smiles, friendship, a feeling that people care about them, a daily safety check, and peace of mind for the clients and their families.
Meals on Wheels is so much more than delivering a meal. Drivers provide daily surveillance of health and physical needs. They make sure the client is okay and comfortable. They talk. They hug. They trade stories. The volunteers become friends with their clients. Often, that friendship can be a lifesaver.
Meals on Wheels improves the dignity and quality of life for seniors. Precarious health status may be improved by proper diet, which may prevent hospitalization or institutionalization, and help seniors maintain themselves in their own homes. Considerable financial benefits may be realized by the client, his or her family, and the community as a whole. People may be released from the hospital earlier if meals are available at home. Knowledgeable staff complete comprehensive in-home assessments every 6 months to ensure that Meals on Wheels is meeting their needs and to connect them with community resources and to help them be safe, healthy, and independent in their homes.
The actual cost of each meal served averages $6.59 per meal. The suggested contribution for eligible seniors is $3.00 per meal. No one is denied service because of an inability to contribute. All donations are used to purchase additional meals and minimize the necessity for waiting lists.
In much of the area we serve, hot mid-day meals are delivered for the number of days per week to meet clients’ needs. These meals are designed to be the main meal of the day. In some rural areas, our clients are served by weekly delivery of frozen meals. Because funding for Meals on Wheels is not always sufficient to meet the needs of every eligible senior, meals may not be available for everyone who qualifies!
Many people receive Meals on Wheels for a week or two following hospitalization.
Strict therapeutic diets are not available at the present time. A few changes are made for diabetics, lower sodium, and those requiring mechanically adjusted or renal meals. Skim milk is served upon request.
Menus are designed to contain a wide variety of well-balanced nutritious meals. Each meal consists of a protein-rich entree, fruit, vegetables, bread, milk and dessert.
Private Pay Option
For more information about Meals for Wheels residents of Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties can contact Jodi Simmer, David Hagen, or Lisa Robitshek at: (231) 947-3780 or (800) 632-7334.
Manistee county residents may phone Connie Ott at: (231) 723-6461.
Missaukee and Wexford county residents may contact Chuck Dolley at: (231) 775-9781.
The toll-free number throughout our service area is (800) 632-7334.