For low-income seniors, Meals on Wheels is a free service provided by the government. This means that you do not have to pay for your meal with anything other than what’s in front of you — whether it's an actual dollar bill or just some scrap metal left over after paying off all debts.
The production cost averages at about $6-$7 per serving (which includes ingredients), but most programs ask those who can't afford these groceries to contribute something still anyway — usually around three bucks per person. If they refuse, then their meals will contain fresh produce instead so no one goes hungry or gets sick from lack thereof.
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Meals on Wheels provides a nutritious and caring way for homebound seniors to maintain their independence. A program run by volunteers, meals are typically delivered five times per week so that those who live alone can have delicious hot food without having prepared it themselves
or buying prepackaged foods from grocery stores that often have high sodium levels.
The average age of participants ranges from 79 to 80, with more than half living alone. More than 60% say one-half or more food they consume during the day comes from receiving home-delivered dishes daily.
The eligibility requirements for Meals on Wheels programs can vary depending on the agency but generally include being age 60 or older with limited income. You should always check your local Area Agency on Aging before applying since they provide information about all available Meals on Wheels service providers in their area!
Meals on Wheels relies heavily upon federal, state, and local organizations’ funding as well as individual donations, which allows them to provide essential meals without charge, so recipients don't have any worries about finances when it comes to their meals.
The nonprofit organization does this through various means of funding: 39% from the federal government and 61% raised by other public or private groups. Recipients are also allowed to contribute any amount towards their own meal when it isn't reimbursed through donations, but this is not required in order to receive one.
Meals on Wheels has an incredible impact all across America. This wonderful organization wouldn’t be possible without donations from generous people who want nothing but the best for the elderly when they can no longer cook nutritious food or shop regularly at grocery stores.
If you are interested in knowing more about improving a senior’s quality of life, check out Senior Strong’s health and wellness section.
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.