Meals on Wheels
About Meals on Wheels
Good nutrition and social interaction are vital for healthy living. Senior citizens in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties have access to both through the Meals on Wheels program. The nutrition program provides hot, balanced meals to senior citizens who can’t prepare their own food. For many, the home delivered meal is the only hot food they have each day. Meals on Wheels are available on a temporary or ongoing basis. Seniors also benefit from the personal contact with the volunteers who deliver them. Because many clients live alone or with ailing spouses, having someone check on them each day gives them a sense of well being and helps them feel safe. Another major benefit of the Meals on Wheels is independence. There are many senior citizens in our communities who have basic needs, that, if met, allow them to stay in their homes and lead independent lives.
Who is eligible for Meals on Wheels?
An assessment is completed for each potential home delivered meals participant to determine eligibility based on state and federal standards. Generally, a person is eligible if they are:
- 60 years of age or older
- The spouse or partner of someone age 60 or older
- An individual living with a disability who is under age 60 and resides with a person eligible or receiving Meals on Wheels
- Unable to obtain or prepare nutritious meals
- Living with an adult in the same residence who is not able to prepare nutritious meals
- Confined to their home or unable to leave their home under normal circumstances
- Unable to participate at a Senior Dining Site because of physical or emotional difficulties
- Able to feed themselves
- At home when meals are delivered
Who makes referrals?
Physicians, family members, friends, neighbors or individuals themselves can make referrals. After the initial call to refer a senior to the program, a Meals on Wheels representative will visit the prospective clients in their home. This is done to determine if the client is eligible for the service and to obtain information about the person’s dietary needs.
How much does it cost?
Clients are given the opportunity to donate towards the cost of the meals. An individual is never denied a meal if they do not have the resources to contribute.
What kinds of meals are available?
A wide variety of balanced meals are delivered at noontime Monday through Friday. Hot or frozen meals are available for seniors who need food on weekends and holidays. All home delivered meals are salt restricted and contain the vitamins and nutrients a senior needs. A doctor’s diet prescription is necessary for the following diets:
- Texture Modified, which is ground meat, finely chopped or soft foods
Who delivers the meals?
Meals on Wheels depends on one of the largest volunteer groups in the tri-county area. Over 1,800 individuals give one or more hours a month delivering meals. These dedicated volunteers are from all walks of life; many work for businesses or are members of organizations or places of worship that sponsor meal routes. Often, parents and children deliver meals together. The parents feel this is a good way to teach their children the importance of helping others and giving back to the community. Call your local coordinator to find out how you can help. Training is provided and there is always staff for backup and support.
Who pays for the meals?
Federal and state funds are provided through the Aging and Adult Services Agency, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. These funds cover a large part of the cost of the Meals on Wheels program. Grants from Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties and the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Friends for Independence (the fundraising arm of TCOA) and client donations all contribute to the financial needs of this important service.
Where do I call?
Call the local Meals on Wheels coordinator in your area.
Greater Lansing Area Meals on Wheels
Service Area: Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett & Okemos
Tri-County Office on Aging
5303 S. Cedar St., Bldg. 1, Lansing, MI 48911-3800
Rural Ingham Meals on Wheels
Service Area: Holt, Mason, Williamston, Webberville, Stockbridge, Leslie, Dansville and Onondaga
415 E. Maple St., Mason, MI 48854
Clinton County Meals on Wheels
201 E. Walker St., St. Johns, MI 48879
Ph: 989-224-3600 or 1-888-224-3030
Eaton County Meals on Wheels
Location: Lawrence Avenue Methodist Church
210 E. Lawrence Ave., Charlotte
Mailing address: P.O. Box 242
Charlotte, MI 48813
Are there places where seniors can get together and enjoy a meal with friends?
Adults who are 60 years of age and older are invited to attend one of the Senior Dining Sites located throughout Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties. Meal guests enjoy good company and wholesome food, as well as a variety of educational and entertainment programs. There is no charge for these meals but donations are welcome. To find out more about Senior Dining Sites call: (517) 887-1440.
Are Meals on Wheels offered in other parts of the country?
Yes, use the Elder Care Locator, 800-677-1116 for toll free assistance to identify agencies that serve the aging population anywhere in the United States.