By Colleen Harvot, Director of In-Home Care

I recently wrote about how to be a good neighbor to an elderly person. No matter how old you are, it’s good to have others looking out for you. Meals on Wheels, a daily meal delivery service to seniors in our community, is a vital link between elderly people in their homes and the larger community.

About Meals On Wheels

Most Meals on Wheels programs in the United States are established locally by individuals and civic organizations. The programs and methods of operation are all different. Federal, state, and local governments occasionally subsidize these programs, but support varies widely.

Meals On Wheels In Neenah And Menasha

The Meals on Wheels in Neenah and Menasha was inaugurated in 1966 by members of the Neenah-Menasha Emergency Society (NMES). The goal was to provide hot, nutritious, and diet-specific meals to elderly and homebound people.

Today, this Meals on Wheels program is run via a partnership between Valley VNA, for administrative support; ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, for food preparation in their dietary department; and the NMES, whose members continue to volunteer for deliveries.

Currently, the program has the capacity to deliver 60 meals per day, and there are openings for new clients and delivery volunteers.

Meals On Wheels Meals

Because the meals are made at ThedaCare, they can be customized to meet special dietary needs, such as low salt, low carb, or food allergies.

Any elderly person in the city of Neenah or Menasha is eligible for Meals on Wheels; they need not be homebound. Meals are billed to the client once a month at a current rate of $5.25 per meal. Some clients get meals Monday through Friday; others, twice a week. Clients generally pay by check.

Each meal delivery includes two packs. The hot pack includes meat, a vegetable, and a starch. The cold pack includes a roll with butter, a dessert, and some fruit.

Six teams of delivery volunteers are divided up by region within the cities of Neenah and Menasha. Volunteer training is provided, and volunteers need not be a member of NMES.

Meals on Wheels volunteers are caring and non-intrusive; however, if they notice that a client is not well, does not answer the door, or seems to be having some other kind of trouble, they notify Valley VNA staff to initiate a wellness check.

Do you want to set up Meals on Wheels deliveries for yourself or someone you love? Would you like to be a delivery volunteer, or make a donation in support of Meals on Wheels? If so, please contact: Bobbie Rhoades, Meals on Wheels Coordinator at Valley VNA, at (920) 727-5555, ext. 2213.