MOW provides a source of daily social contact for people who would otherwise be alone. It allows for earlier release from hospitals and long-term care and helps in keeping elderly and disabled persons at home - allowing them to age in place and live with dignity. In our community, there have been a vast increase in the number of people accessing area hunger-relief organizations. While the local food banks provide a vital service for able-bodied people who can shop and cook but who are also short of funds, MOW serves a complementary population of area residents who are unable to prepare their own meals and who are also, in large part, isolated and alone. The fact that our volunteers visit with our clients daily allows them to form lasting friendships, allows us a window into their world and allows them to be connected to additional services when needed.
*What community need does the project address?
Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, functionality and the ability to remain independent. Healthy eating can increase mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, recuperation speed and the ability to manage chronic health problems. MOW ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking. For many seniors, the MOW volunteer who shows up each day with a hot meal and a warm smile is the only person they see or speak with all day. This delivery is the reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to, and a reminder to take good care of themselves. Along with the inevitable impacts of aging come the increased risks of medical emergencies, falls and other accidents. The safety check that accompanies each meal delivery helps to reduce falls, trips to the hospital or premature institutionalization. It also ensures that, in the case of an emergency or problem, medics will be called, families will be notified and our seniors will not be forgotten.
We are particularly concerned with our clients over 75 years old (38%), living alone, with income at or below the poverty level without the ability to prepare a hot meal. All meal recipients receive an annual visit from staff and monthly newsletters to provide them with information regarding additional resources within the community. MOW provides birthday and holiday gifts (which are donated) and seasonal cards throughout the year, as one of our goals is to provide emotional support and to broaden connection to the larger community while we provide much needed nutrition. For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.
Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville/Albemarle is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1977 by Church Women United. Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals to ...read more
Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville/Albemarle, a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by Church Women United, delivers hot, nutritious lunchtime meals Monday through Friday to homebound residents of...read more