Meals on Wheels* annually delivers 218 million meals to 2.4 million Americans who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. Research shows that home-delivered meal programs significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intake, reduce food insecurity, and improve quality-of-life among recipients. The Meals on Wheels program also reduces government expenditures by reducing the need of recipients to use hospitals, nursing homes, or other expensive community-based services. Many of the people across the country who benefit from Meals on Wheels are elderly, and many of the volunteers who deliver meals are also elderly but able-bodied and able to drive automobiles. By bringing together people in need with someone who cares enough to volunteer his or her time, the Meals on Wheels program supplies both physical and emotional sustenance for participants.
*Names and locations of Meals on Wheels volunteers and recipients were purposely omitted for this photo essay.