Food Insecurity for seniors is a growing concern as 8.3 million American seniors face the threat of hunger every day, with increased incidence in Southern states. The Meals on Wheels organizations within the triangle (Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Durham and Wake County), collectively deliver 1700+ nutritious hot meals a day (415,000+ annually) to our home bound neighbors to improve health, reduce isolation and to help seniors and disabled persons maintain independent lifestyles.
The faces of Meals on Wheels (MOW) recipients are as diverse as you or I. It’s the retired professional who one day, driving to the store as usual, suddenly collapses in the parking lot to find out he has rapid onset Parkinson’s and it’s no longer safe for him to prepare his own meals. It’s the 90 year-old grandmother with hearing and vision issues whose children have left the area, but with the weekday delivery of a hot meal, is able to maintain living in the comfort of her own home.
Meals on Wheels delivers much more than a nutritious meal. As one recipient “Mrs. C,” told a volunteer; “I have a phone, I have the TV, but nothing takes the place of a visit from a real person.” For many homebound individuals, the Meals on Wheels volunteer can be the only person they see on a daily basis which provides peace of mind for the recipient as well as their loved ones who live outside the area.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro MOW has seen a consistent 15% demand in services over the past 3 years. We will not refuse anyone based on a recipient’s ability to pay, and as we do not receive state or federal funding, we are reliant on the generous donations of others to subsidize 65% of the meal costs.