Meals on Wheels is a home delivery meal service for seniors run by the government. The program is to ensure that older adults get the nutrition they need.
A recent pilot project, Meals on Wheels People, has started serving a community at a local diner in Vancouver, WA that may also help seniors stay social.
Meals on Wheels funding
The program is funded through a mixture of individual donors, volunteers, and government funding. The major government funding sources are the following:
- Senior nutrition federal funding
- Medicaid waiver programs
- Local funding such as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Trump recently proposed a budget that would eliminate funding for the CDBG program, which are lump sums of government funds given to states for state officials to allocate how they see fit. While this is not the only funding, it will significantly impact the 5,000 programs across the United States.
Who qualifies for Meals on Wheels?
The qualifications for regular, home-delivered Meals on Wheels can vary depending on the county or program in your area, but a general outline of qualifications are the following:
- Must be homebound
- Can’t attend their local food pantry or Senior Center
- Must be either elderly, disabled, or physically or mentally unable to get food
- Must not be able to take care of themselves
The Diner in Vancouver looks like any other diner you would visit at first glance. However, it is dedicated to a local program called Meals on Wheels People.
Some of the main differences you may notice from other diners are features like mugs with larger handles and chairs that slide out easier to make more room for wheelchairs. Everything in The Diner was designed with comfort and ease for seniors in mind.
The Diner accepts all customers, but those who qualify can pay with a green dining card rather than their credit card. Donations are accepted, but not required.