If you are familiar with Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, you likely know that our main program provides daily-delivered meals to homebound seniors across the state.
But, do you know who those seniors are?
Our mission statement is that we seek to meet the nutritional and other special needs of the elderly in order to help them maintain their independent lifestyles.
We serve seniors—and other homebound Rhode Islanders—who are not able to safely shop for or prepare their own meals because they are living with physical and/or mental disabilities.
These vulnerable Rhode Islanders—and their families—often face the difficult decision of whether they should move from their homes into a costly assisted-living or nursing facility. They don’t want to do this, and are able to remain living without full-time assistance if they have access to social support programs such as our home-delivered meals.
Some of our clients only need our services for a short time—they may be recovering from a fall or illness—and some of our clients receive home-delivered meals for months or years. About 1,200 Rhode Islanders receive a healthy, complete meal from us each weekday and last year we delivered to 2,535 individuals.
Along with the daily meal, our volunteers also provide a safety check that ensures each client’s wellbeing.
Most of these Rhode Island residents are seniors. Ninety percent of our clients are 65 and older and 55 percent are 80 and older.
The majority—63 percent—of our clients live alone. This means that because they are unable to leave the house safely on their own, they may not see anyone on a daily basis besides our volunteer deliver driver.
While it’s true for some of our clients that family members or other caretakers may assist them with morning or evening meals, many people we deliver to actually only get that one meal each day.
There is no financial requirement to receive home-delivered meals and there is no charge, though a $3.00 donation per meal is accepted when possible. Because only 12 percent of our costs are funded by client—and family—donations, we know that about 88 percent of our clients cannot afford this donation.
Some other facts about our clients:
- 15 percent are Veterans
- 63 percent are female
- 79 percent are not married
- 58 percent live in Providence County
To help your fellow Rhode Islanders receive the meals and vital safety checks they need to stay healthy and safe in their own homes, consider making a donation today—every dollar counts!