The Meals on Wheels program serves the Upper Perkiomen Valley in Montgomery County and is administered by The Center at The Open Link.
The purpose of Meals on Wheels (MOW) is to provide nutritious meals to our homebound neighbors enabling them to remain in their homes for a greater length of time. Five days a week (Monday – Friday, delivery of food for the weekend is also available), MOW provides a hot noon meal and (optional) cold evening meal designed to meet the nutritional needs of those who are homebound and/or disabled and unable to shop for groceries or prepare a meal for themselves. Recipients are instructed to consume the hot meal upon delivery and save the cold meal for the evening; therefore no reheating/cooking is required. Recipients may also request additional cold meals for weekend consumption as needed.
The MOW coordinator visits each recipient to perform a short assessment before service begins. The typical recipient is 60 years of age or older and lives alone. However, eligibility is based entirely upon the individual’s need (being essentially home bound, unable to prepare meals, unable to shop for food or purchase meals, and/or no cooking facilities, etc.). There are no income requirements or restrictions, though recipients are asked to contribute ($2 suggested anonymous donation per meal) towards the cost of the meal. No one will be denied service due to inability to contribute.
The meals are prepared by a professional caterer under the direction of a registered dietician. Each meal is designed to meet 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowances for older adults and also the dietary guidelines for Americans as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Community volunteers pack and deliver the meals Monday through Friday each week. Volunteers are trained to be aware of any changes in the recipient and if there are any to report back to the Meal on Wheels office. The recipient not only receives a friendly visit each day, but also a check on their safety. All MOW volunteers have background checks before joining the team to help ensure recipient safety.
Every attempt is made to deliver Meals on Wheels 5 days a week, however if roads are unsafe, meals will be cancelled. When there is a chance of this happening (in case of snow, for instance), emergency “snow packs” are available to recipients to be used when inclement weather forces cancellation of Meals on Wheels.
Partial funding for the program is provided by Montgomery County’s Aging and Adult services. The difference is made up by private individual and organizational donations from people like you. All contributions are tax-deductible.
Anyone can make a referral to Meals on Wheels by calling The Center at (215) 679-6550. The Meals on Wheels coordinator will then go out to do a home visit and assess eligibility. Eligible individuals will be able to begin receiving meals within the next week. The length of time that an individual receives meals is based on need. Meals on Wheels can provide short-term assistance for someone recuperating from an illness or injury, however, long-term service will be provided if necessary.
Those who are not eligible may be referred to The Open Link, which offers a variety of programs and services including a hot noon day meal to anyone age 55+ or disabled.
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