Weekend Meals for Homebound Seniors

by Meals on Wheels People

We frequently receive notes from our clients about the service we provide and we recently received this letter from Carolyn: I am grateful to Meals on Wheels People and wish there was an ongoing way to applaud the unsung heros who prepare the meals and the volunteer drivers who deliver them to me faithfully every day. I especially enjoy the children who come with their moms to deliver. Without Meals on Wheels, I don't know what I would do. A stroke has left me disabled and I am unable to cook meals for myself. Thank you for all you do for seniors!"

Carolyn is typical of those who receive meals from us daily. She lives alone on a fixed income and depends on Meals on Wheels People for her daily sustanance. Without Meals on Wheels, Carolyn would have no access to fresh food. We are able to deliver meals to every senior who requests one because of the generosity of donors like you.

Between April 1 and June 30, 2016, we served and delivered 307,393 meals to 9,755 older adults in the greater Portland metropolitan area. Our meals are available as a regular diet, DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) -- which is appropriate for those who need low cholesterol, low sodium or diabetic meals, soft and vegetarian. As baby boomers enter the ranks of the senior community, we are adapting the meals we serve to better accommodate their needs and desires. Thanks to the many donors through Global Giving, we have been able to maintain our tradition of never turning away a senior in need.

Norma has been receiving Meals on Wheels for about five years. She is 87, lives alone and has a chronic illness that prevents her from leaving her home. She depends on Meals on Wheels People to provide her with one hot meal every day. In fact, the meal we provide her is her main source of sustenance. She gets by with cold food she does not have to prepare for her other meals. For many of those we serve, the hot meal we bring is their only food of the day. Without Meals on Wheels, they would go hungry. Our meals are nutritious and balanced. They provide 1/3 of the RDA and usually include a piece of whole fruit - a luxury for those who are unable to shop for themselves. 

About 25% of those we serve live at or below poverty. Meals on Wheels is not a luxury for them, but a lifeline that often allows them to remain independent and living in their own homes. We frequently receive letters from clients expressing their gratitude for our service and we recently received this note from Cisely:

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for me in the past eight months. I came to you in a very desperate situation. Your program has literally nourished me."

Between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31, 2016, we served and delivered 300,029 meals to older adults in the greater Portland metro area. This represents about a 3% growth over the same time period in 2015. We are extremely grateful to all of the Global Giving donors for allowing us to provide hot meals to every senior who requests them.

Meals on Wheels People serves and delivers 5,700 meals daily in the greater Portland metro area. About 3,000 of those meals are delivered to homebound seniors who have no other source of fresh food. It is often the meals we bring them that allow these frail elderly peole to remain independent and living in their own homes. Weekend meals assure that they will have a hot, nutritious meal and a friendly visit every single day.

More than 25% of those we serve live at or below the poverty level and the meals we bring them make all the difference. We have also seen a trend, over the past two years, of "younger" seniors -- those between the age of 60 and 65 -- requesting meals. Many of these people have not planned well for retirement, lost their jobs during the great recession and never recovered financially. They are also in poorer health than people in their early 60s were just 10 years ago.

Meals on Wheels People has also made great strides in adapting our menus to appeal to a changing demographic. We now offer a vegetable-based diet daily for those who request them. And, for many years, we have made available the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that focuses on whole grains, fruit, veg and lean meats. This diet is appropriate for those who need diabetic, low-sodium and/or low-cholesterol meals.

We frequently hear from the seniors we serve. Here is a letter received recently from Walter and Keiko: Thank you for your generosity. You make all the difference in so many lies. We are grateful for the meals and cherish the people who care about us. We  have hot meals daily that we just cannot prepare for ourselves. Your meals are healthy and tasty. Thank you for making our lives better!

We often receive notes from diners or their adult children letting us know what a difference meals have made. We recently received this letter from the adult daughter of one of our clients at our Elm Court Center: "Thnak you, thank you for providing meals to my mother for the past four months. The daily delivery of meals by your wonderful volunteers has made it possible for my 92-year-old mother to stay in her own home." Her mother, like many of our homebound clients, lives alone and has little to no access to fresh food other than what we provide. Our meals allow seniors to live independently in their own homes rather than entering institutional care.

Between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, 2015, we served and delivered 318,161 meals to 10,516 older adults in the greater metro area. About one-third of these seniors also receive weekend meals -- either daily hot delivery of meals on weekends or frozen meals provided on Friday. More than 60% of our annual funding comes from community donations and we are exceedingly grateful to Global Giving donors for allowing us to continue our tradition of never turning away a senior in need.

Richard is a recent widower.  One of the "greatest generation" he never learned to cook, but relied on his wife to provide meals. He's 87, frail and living on his own. Meals on Wheels, including those delivered on the weekends, have been a lifesaver for Richard. "Four months ago my wife passed away leaving me to care for myself. And I don't cook!" Richard wrote to us. "Thank god for Meals on Wheels People. They provide great meals and someone to talk to." Richard is typical of those we serve. He lives alone on a fixed income and, although he owns his own home, is isolated and rarely sees anyone other than his volunteer Meals on Wheels driver. The daily delivery of hot, nutritous meals is what allows Richard to remain independent and living on his own.

Between May 15 and Aug 15, 2015, Meals on Wheels People served and delivered 321,272 meals to 10,362 older adults in the greater Portland metro area. More than 70% of our annual operating budget comes from the general public. Donations through Global Giving make meal delivery on this scale possible.


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Meals on Wheels People

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mealsonwheelspeople.org/​
Project Leader:
Julie Piper Finley
Portland, OR United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Meals on Wheels People that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.