Special Programs

Meals on Wheels of RI has expanded its services over the years to include much more than providing a nutritious daily meal. Learn about the other senior-related services that the agency offers to elders across the state.

Senior Wish Program:

Since 2005, our Senior Wish Program has helped grant the “wishes” of seniors.  We are able to provide essential items such as hand lotions, soap, towels and robes and seasonal items such as fans and air conditioning units or blankets (when available).  Our work is meant to support and “brighten” the lives of Rhode Island’s senior population.  If you are a senior in need of such a “wish,” are over the age of 50, a Rhode Island resident and are  currently receiving services within the Rhode Island Aging Network, you may request a “wish.”  Each wish is reviewed by our Senior Wish Program coordinator and committee. You may call us directly to place your “wish.”  Call (401) 351-6700. Meals on Wheels of RI also accepts donations to support the Senior Wish Program. If you and/or your organization would like to make a donation please call (401) 351-6700.

Pet Food Program

Like their owners, the pets that are cherished by our seniors also need food to stay healthy. Appreciating how important it is to both provide seniors and their pets with high-quality nutritious meals, MOWRI has partnered with a number of agencies, local companies and friends to make special pet food deliveries to our seniors. Many clients lack the resources needed to keep their companion pets—sometimes a homebound senior’s only “family” member—well-nourished and healthy. Pet food donations from our partners allows us to meet this need while not impacting our routine program operations. Please contact our office for details. Donations of pet food can be arranged by calling (401) 351-6700.

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Pet Food Program

Meals on Wheels of RI’s Pet Food Program supports clients who depend on their pets for companionship.

By working with local partners and grant funders, we are able to provide pet food and supplies to homebound clients lacking the resources to adequately care for their pets.

Since 1969, Meals on Wheels of RI’s programs have directly addressed the issues of food insecurity and social isolation that are risk factors for negative health outcomes amongst older adults. Social isolation, which can be lessened through pet ownership, is known to increase seniors’ risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression and anxiety.

From June 2020-January 2021, a study conducted by Meals on Wheels America in partnership with PetSmart Charities revealed that:

  • Nearly 100% of home-delivered meal clients say their pet brings them happiness
  • 98.8% say their pet feels like a family member
  • 96.6% say having a pet in their life makes them feel less lonely

The study also highlighted that many homebound seniors need help caring for their pets:

  • 20% reported going without food to feed their pets
  • 30% reported going without personal/medical care in order to provide for their pets
  • 30% reported not paying bills in order to provide for their pets
  • 75% reported needing help getting enough pet food

How you can help

Holding a pet food drive at your workplace is a great way to contribute to the Pet Food Program. For details, click here.