What We Do
The goal of Meals on Wheels of Rowan, Inc. (MOW) is to serve a weekday lunch-time meal to every homebound citizen of Rowan County who is assessed to need MOW services, without regard to county location or ability to pay. MOW policy is to charge the client the direct cost of the meal (the price MOW pays to the provider). As a standard, many clients are able to pay only part or nothing toward the full price of the meal. Therefore, MOW adopted a sliding fee scale (using the criteria of government poverty level standards) to determine if clients pay only a part or nothing toward the direct meal cost. Additional project costs (costs involved in getting the meal from the meal site to the client) are not charged to the client. These costs are met by other funding sources to address the difference between the direct meal cost, client's ability to pay, and additional costs of the project.
Our MOW Hunger Relief program in Rowan County presently serves an average of 200 lunch-time meals 5 days a week. The program serves all, without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, and/or ability to pay. MOW clients are 98% aged 65+ and the remaining 2% are physically disabled citizens under age 50.
Weekday meals are designed to provide a daily nutritious meal. The meals are prepared and delivered to 2 different pick-up sites. At the meal preparation site, the heat retaining sealed individual serving containers are filled and then packed into thermal transport containers. Each recipient receives one HOT and one COLD sealed meal tray. Ht HOT tray contains the entree and two vegetables and the COLD tray contains the fruit, bread and dessert portions of the meal. Our staff verifies cooler meal counts before volunteers pick up. Hot meals trays are packed in new thermal transport carriers which provide improved heat retention. Cold meal trays are packed separately to retain their cool temperature.
Volunteers come to one of three locations to pick up the meals for delivery. Volunteers leave the pickup site and deliver to clients according to "route cards" which provide directions to clients' homes. A limited number of stops (average 10 per route) ensure the meals are served fresh and as warm as possible.
Daily review and redesign of routes is required to maintain route order, ensure quality and efficiency, and to accommodate the client turnover. MOW staff members are responsible for soliciting and coordinating the volunteers that pick-up and deliver meals and, if necessary, fill in for a missing volunteer. In November, clients receive an emergency meal (shelf-safe) to be used when meals cannot be delivered due to inclement weather.