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Our Mission

Our mission is to meet the nutritional and social needs of those we serve so that they can maintain safe and independent lifestyles.

Since 1969, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island has worked to address the issues of food insecurity and social isolation that are risk factors for negative health outcomes among homebound older adults. Through nutritional and other programming, the organization works to empower seniors across the state to live healthier, safer and happier lives as they age with independence.

As an independent nonprofit, every dollar donated to us goes directly toward helping Rhode Island residents.

Our Vision

A Rhode Island where all seniors live nourished lives with independence and dignity.

Our History

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island was established on Feb. 17, 1969 by founder Joe Brown (1924-2014) who saw an unmet need in his community to provide nutritious meals to homebound seniors.

With a small group of volunteers, he began delivering lunchtime meals to 17 seniors in Providence out of space donated by Grace Church, located in downtown Providence.

In 1972, an amendment to the Older Americans Act allowed great expansion of this new Home-Delivered Meal Program as well as the addition of new and much-needed services to serve homebound seniors statewide.

Within its first 10 years in operation, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island celebrated the delivery of its one millionth meal to a senior in need.

In 2019, the organization celebrated its 50th year and delivered its 19 millionth meal to a homebound senior. Also in 2019, the organization welcomed its fourth executive director, Meghan Grady, marking a new era of growth for Meals on Wheels of RI as it works to meet the needs of a growing senior population.

In 2021, we delivered more than 357,000 meals to 3,029 seniors through our Home-Delivered Meal Program. Another 314 seniors were served through the Capital City Café Program.

Joe Brown speaking
Meals on Wheels of RI Founder Joseph Brown (1914-2014)

Over the years, much, of course, has changed at Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, but our mission remains the same – to help enable our state’s homebound older adults to remain living independently in their own homes by providing them with complete and nutritious meals, vital safety checks and critical opportunities for socialization.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Meals on Wheels of RI is committed to, and continuously engaged in, building organization practices that reflect our commitment to diversity, cultural competency, and inclusion.

Our diversity and inclusion policies encompass all identities and characteristics in which people differ from one another – including but not limited to race, ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity, age, ability, national origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, education, marital status, HIV status, military status, and immigration status.

Equity in the workplace ensures fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. Inclusion is the act of creating an environment that welcomes, respects, and values all individuals.