Meals on Wheels
Mission: Our charitable mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals who are homebound, frail, and elderly through the provision of nutritious meals, personal contact, and related services. This agency is one of the largest and oldest, volunteer-based home delivered meal programs in the county. Beginning in baltimore city, we have grown to provide home delivered services throughout maryland. Most of our clients are elderly, including many seniors in poverty. We also serve clients who are under the age of 60 and unable to provide for themselves. We are more than a meal. We provide our clients with a friendly daily visit by a volunteer, grocery shopping and delivery, and other support services, to help them maintain their independence, living in their homes, for as long as possible. Daily contact by our volunteers to our homebound clients is paramount as many clients would not experience direct human contact without a daily visit and/or phone call from one of our volunteers.
Programs: Nutrition services. Meals on wheels of central maryland provides nutrition and daily contact to all individuals in the area regardless of their financial ability to contribute to the agency. Meals are delivered to the homebound clients who are unable to shop and cook for themselves on monday through friday regardless of holiday. For those clients who have no family support, the agency also provides weekend meals delivered on fridays. Annually, the clients are also provided shelf stable (emergency meal) kits, to be used in the event that weather makes meal delivery service not possible. The meals provide two-thirds of an individual's daily nutritional requirements for older adults. Clients receive a hot lunch and cold evening meal. Menu options for clients include a "no concentrated sweets" diet, substitutions for fish and pork based on religious requirements or preference, and texture modified meals for clients who have difficulty chewing and swallowing. Kosher meals are also delivered in some geographical areas. To supplement meal service, clients are also offered grocery shopping services provided by a volunteer. This allows clients to access other grocery items, household products and toiletries that they might need. The agency also provides meal services to non-profits that run adult day care programs, senior centers and senior congregate housing. The adult programs benefit from the same attention to proper nutrition and health promotion that our homebound clients receive. For all of our consumers of nutrition services, we periodically provide information on various aspects of healthy eating and nutrition.
client services program. Client services staff are available in each of the counties where we operate. From initial contact through the entire episode of service, they provide information, referral and assistance to our clientele. For nutritional assistance, our agency nutritionist is available for consultation. The client services staff serves as liaison between our clients and the agency's grocery shopping, pet food (the kibble connection) and phone pal services, which are provided by agency volunteers. When necessary, client services will conduct an in-home assessment of the client and provide referrals to other service providers as indicated. Our goal for meals on wheels of central maryland is to provide an in-home assessment of all clients within thirty days of commencing service. Our clients are needy, isolated, sometimes suffering from dementia and in general not able to manage all facets of their activities of daily living without support. The agency is a critical link between the client and the community; in many cases meals on wheels of central maryland is the agency they call for answers because they are connected to us. Our client services department also responds to emergencies with the clients, and will engage emergency contacts (usually identified family members) if the situation warrants their involvement. Not all clients are elderly. Approximately 10. 6% of the people served are under the age of sixty. They can be homebound because of permanent disability or recuperation from surgery or injury. The staff in client services will ensure that eligible clients are provided nutritional services regardless of their ability to pay. They will discuss an individual's finances and take into account their anxiety about the cost of living and the client's limited finances. A significant portion of our clients are seniors in poverty. But beyond that, many clients who own their own home are also faced with the cost of upkeep, taxes, significant health costs and many other day to day expenses that cause challenges. All of these factors are discussed at length with agency clients. The agency recruits, trains and supports a network of approximately 2,000 volunteers who provide the meals and daily contact to our clients. This model has served the community effectively for decades. The volunteer has the opportunity to provide a meaningful service to the community; the client has the opportunity to have good nutrition and a brief visit from a caring neighbor. The importance of daily contact cannot be minimized. Volunteers provide a link between the client and the community through daily checks on the client's condition. They are able to spot changes in health or living conditions, or other concerns and report back to client services for appropriate action. Without the contribution of these caring volunteers, meals on wheels of central maryland would not be able to meet its mission.