Meals on Wheels of Rowan, Inc. (MOW), a United Way member agency, is a community based, non-profit organization whose mission is: “To provide a meal and friendly visit to the homebound and disabled of Rowan County.” MOW was established in May, 1976 when the need of several homebound citizens of Rowan County, unable to prepare meals for themselves, was noticed. To facilitate their needs, and allow them to remain at home, where they were most comfortable, MOW was formed. Another significant part of the MOW program is the daily friendly face-to-face contact clients receive when the MOW volunteer deliver the meal to the client's home. The weekday meal delivery also serves as a "safety check" and alleviates isolation and loneliness and provides social interaction.
The first Meals on Wheels originated in Great Britain in 1939 during the Blitz when many people lost their homes and had no place to prepare meals. The Women's Volunteer Service for Civil Defense delivered prepared meals to disadvantaged neighbors and brought refreshments in canteens affectionately called "meals on wheels" to servicemen during World War II. The Meals on Wheels idea spread with the first U.S. home delivered meals program in 1954 in Philadelphia, PA.
Our Rowan County Meals on Wheels program began through the efforts of
Anne Ramsay. Anne and other concerned citizens of Rowan County formed
a committee to research programs related to hunger relief. They made a
proposal to the United Way of Rowan County and became incorporated on
May 13, 1976. For nearly fifteen years, Meals on Wheels remained a
totally volunteer driven organization operated from board member's homes.
Meals were prepared at various locations over the years...Catawba College,
Rowan Regional Hospital, The Downtowner Restaurant and several other
locations. Eventually, personnel were hired to manage the agency under
the direction of the Board of Directors. A formal office was established and
located on West Innes Street. When queried about the early days, Anne Ramsay stated, “It was an idea that worked and it was very gratifying.”
We’ve had many dedicated Volunteers through the years and it’s not unusual for our Volunteers to be with us for a long period of time. One such person is Virginia Graves. Virginia was a nurse with the VA and after retiring in 1988 began to volunteer for MOW with a group organized at First Baptist Church of Salisbury. She’s been volun- teering ever since and has been the Coordinator for the MOW Volunteers at the church for many years. The church now delivers 12 routes for MOW! She talks fondly of her clients on Route #6 in Salisbury which has been her route for longer than she can remember. When we asked what keeps her going after 27 years, Virginia chuckled and quipped, “I’m vertical and I’m verbal! Being able to help someone gives me a reason to get out of bed each day.”
We’ve come a long way from a handful of clients in the beginning to an average of 221 meals delivered 5 days a week over 27 routes through out Rowan County! Our volunteer corps numbers 1000+ but even that number is not enough! There is a substantial waiting list for clients who live in areas we do not yet service or who live on a route that cannot handle more deliveries without additional volunteers. We invite you to become a MOW Volunteer during this exciting time as we prepare to begin construction on our own kitchen at our offices in Spencer. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a MOW Volunteer, please contact our office via phone at 704-633-0352, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our Volunteer Application Form HERE. MOW needs you!
Meals on Wheels of Rowan, Inc. is a community based, non-profit organization, administered by a full time Executive Director and support staff who are located in the Meals on Wheels office. Our Board of Directors consists of eighteen community conscious volunteers who oversee Meals on Wheels' operations during their three year term. Each year the board holds elections for officers, including President, Vice-president, Executive and Recording Secretaries and Treasurer. Elected officers and board members create and periodically review by-laws, establish annual goals and help organize various community awareness and fund-raising events. They also assure that the nutritious content and quality of meals is met.
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