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Community Partner Spotlight: Alamance County Meals on Wheels

Alamance County Meals on Wheels began in 1973 and has transformed over the years to become the hot-meal deliver service that it is today. Meals on Wheels serves clients that are 60 years of age and over and are completely home-bound. Most participants are unable to prepare meals on their own. Clients receive one meal a day delivered completely by volunteers from the community. Meals on Wheels follows strict nutrition parameters for each meal since they receive government funds for the program. There are over 400 clients and there is usually a waiting list.

Clients are located all throughout the county and some outside, depending on if they are reachable by other Meals on Wheels organizations. Income is not considered when assessing if someone is eligible to participate in the program. In terms of cost, to feed a client for a year equates to a one day stay in the hospital or 10 days in a nursing home facility. The goal is to keep the clients healthy and the volunteers play a large role in making that possible.

Volunteers are the heart of this organization and it is a great way to make a difference in the community. Each volunteer completes a shift every 4 weeks and has a specific delivery route each time. Delivery routes are created with a lot of thought to ensure food stays at the right temperature and to serve as many as possible. Volunteers are also trained to socialize and do a short safety check to assess the needs of each client. From there, necessary referrals can be made by the staff to health/human service agencies. Clients and volunteers build relationships with each other which helps the client’s mental and physical health. Clients are officially assessed every 6 months but volunteers are continually doing safety checks. Meals on wheels is providing a much needed service and mobilizing many volunteers to help!

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