mowri-faqsAt Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, we are committed to continuous communication with our donors, advocates and partners.
Following are brief answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about our organization, services and clients.
More detailed information about many of these subjects can be found on our website. We also are always happy to answer questions by phone at 401-351-6700.
Q. What does Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island do?
A. We work to help the fragile elderly remain living safely and independently in their own homes. The seniors we serve are homebound, but are able to stay healthy and where they want to be with services such as our Home-Delivered Meal Program that provides a complete, nutritious meal each weekday. Along with the meal, our seniors receive a critical safety check—in many cases we have saved lives—and a friendly visit with a volunteer that eases their loneliness and isolation. It is much more cost-effective for a senior to receive daily-delivered meals than it is for them to live in a nursing home—one month in a semi-private room would cost $8,486.00 while the cost of meals for one month is about $167.00.
Q. Who gets daily-delivered meals?
A. Largely, homebound Rhode Island seniors who live alone. In 2017, we delivered meals to 2,535 individuals. Of these, 90 percent were 65 or older and 55 percent were 80 or older. To receive meals through our Home-Delivered Meal Program, an individual 60 or older—though we do serve homebound clients younger than this—must be unable to safely shop for or prepare a meal themselves due to physical and/or psychological limitations and be unable to leave their home independently and/or have limited assistance leaving the home.
Q. How much does each meal cost?
A. Each meal we serve a client costs approximately $7.60.
Q. What is a typical meal?
A. Each meal meets one-third of the recommended dietary allowances for seniors and all meals are approved by a registered dietician. Each meal contains a protein, starch, vegetable, whole grain bread or roll, milk or juice and dessert. One recent meal included: lasagna with meat sauce, parmesan cheese, cauliflower, whole grain dinner roll and cinnamon peaches. Dessert substitutions for a diabetic diet are available.
Q. How many people do you serve each day?
A. On 79 routes throughout the state, we deliver meals to approximately 1,200 individuals each day.
Q. How much of my donation will go to the Rhode Island Meals on Wheels?
A. 100 percent. We are not an affiliate of Meals on Wheels America. Every donated dollar we receive goes toward providing for a senior or other homebound Rhode Islander.
Q. How much of my donation will go to buying meals for your clients?
A. Unless otherwise noted, general donations go into Meals on Wheels of RI’s operating budget, which includes the Home-Delivered Meal Program.
Q. What else might my donation fund?
A. In addition to our Home-Delivered Meal Program, we have a Capital City Café program that offers more active seniors the chance to dine with peers at seven sites in the greater Providence area, a Senior Restaurant (voucher) Program that allows active seniors a discounted meal at several area restaurants , a Pet Food Program that provides food for seniors’ cherished companion pets and a Senior Wish Program that provides seasonal necessities such as blankets and air conditioners to seniors who cannot afford to purchase their own.
Q. Is Meals on Wheels of RI a government service?
A. No. Though we are funded in part by the United States Administration on Aging and state funds through the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs, we are an independent nonprofit organization.
Q. How are you funded?
A. We receive a combination of state and federal funding, but have received the same amount of federal funding since 2007 despite ever-increasing costs. A small percentage of our clients contribute a suggested $3.00 donation per meal, but we rely heavily on individual and corporate donors and foundation and corporation grants to fund our programs. About 3 percent of our budget is funded by in-kind volunteers.
Q. Do you only deliver meals to Providence residents?
A. We deliver meals to seniors and other homebound individuals across the state. Some meal delivery routes originate at our Providence office and there are 20 other drop-off sites throughout Rhode Island.