Meals on Wheels provides physician prescribed, home-delivered meals to older adults and other home-bound persons unable to prepare adequate meals due to illness, disability or age. Our MOW program is not affiliated with the national organization, and receives no state or federal funding. We rely solely on recipients covering the cost of the meals and individual donors who supplement the costs for those who cannot afford the meals.
For general questions regarding Meals on Wheels, please contact the Montgomery County Free Clinic.
Call Pat or Darlene to get started/set up:
What is Meals on Wheels?
Christian Nursing Service (CNS) began Meals On Wheels (MOW) in 1969 to provide nutritious and inexpensive hot lunches and cold sack dinners to senior citizens. CNS volunteer nurses, doing home visits, recognized that many seniors were not able to prepare their own meals. So, the CNS Board began MOW to provide a hot lunch and a cold sack dinner five days a week. Later, MOW added frozen dinners for the weekend. They began with sixteen clients and now have over sixty. Today, with volunteers from various churches and other organizations, Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc. continues MOW.
Who Does It Serve?
Most clients are over sixty years old living alone or with their spouse in their own home; they are not homeless. A few clients are younger than 60 living alone and unable to prepare their own meals because of some disability. A few clients are with MOW for a short time while they are recovering from surgery or an illness. Many of the clients have limited financial support and access to other sources of food, such as family. Some clients can afford the meals but for health reasons are unable to prepare their meals. Most clients pay some or all the cost of the meals.
What is the Cost of the Meals?
The average cost for a client who gets meals seven days a week, hot meals for five days and frozen meals on the weekend is about $100 per month:
|Meal Type||Daily Cost||Weekly Cost||Monthly Cost|
|Hot meal||$ 2.75||$ 13.75||$ 50 – $ 57|
|Sack meal (cold)||$ 2.25||$ 11.25||$ 45 – $ 47|
|Hot meal and Sack meal||$ 5.00||$ 25.00||$ 100 – $ 110|
|Hot meal and sack with frozen meals for weekend||$ 30.50||$ 122 – $ 152|
Is Assistance Available?
While $100/month/client is very inexpensive, not all clients are able to pay the full amount. Indeed some are unable to pay any. When a client is accepted into the program, we make sure that the client receives appropriate support. On average, Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc. pays about $300/month for clients’ food. Sponsors pay another $700 per month. Assuming 60 clients, the monthly cost is $6,000, so about 83% of the cost is paid by clients and 17% by sponsors and Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc. . Difficulties arise when clients can’t or won’t pay their bills. We try to work with clients to find a way to support them so that they can continue to receive lunches.
Who Packages and Delivers the Meals?
Meals on Wheels depends on volunteers to package the meals and to deliver the meals. MOW has volunteer coordinators from more than 13 organizations including Kiwanis, Wabash Retirees, and many churches. Individuals also can participate. The program is in need of volunteers for driving, substitute drivers and packagers. Anyone interested should contact Brad Mullendore (email@example.com).
The story of the “MOW Restaurant”
Every weekday except Thanksgiving and Christmas volunteers gather at the kitchen of Franciscan Health Crawfordsville to package and deliver hot lunch meals and cold sack dinner meals to about 60 clients.