Weekend Meals on Wheels of Wilmington, NC exists to ensure provision of nutritious meals and social contact to senior and disabled persons on weekends and other days not covered by the weekday Home Delivered Meals program in New Hanover County, North Carolina.
More than a Meal…
In addition to providing needed nutrition, Weekend Meals on Wheels volunteers connect with clients offering care and a friendly face.
Many home-bound residents receive little to no outside connection beyond the exchange from a WMOW volunteer serving their meal.
WMOW volunteers create a continuum of care for clients enrolled in the program, ensuring that their nutritional needs are met.
WMOW fills in the gap that government assisted programs do not- serving on weekends and holidays.
New Hanover County has a rapidly aging population with many underserved clients in need of improved nutrition to support overall health.
Because HUNGER doesn’t take the weekend off…Weekend Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organization steps in! The government-funded Meals on Wheels program can only do so much and provides meals on weekdays only. Therefore, Weekend Meals on Wheels is critical in providing nourishment to area seniors.
In 1990, volunteers realized that some of the clients they served during the week were going hungry on weekends, holidays, and other days that the New Hanover County Home Delivered Meals Program did not operate. These individuals, local churches, restaurants, and the New Hanover County Department of Aging banded together to meet the need and developed Weekend Meals on Wheels. It was one of the first programs of its kind in North Carolina.
Our program began with volunteers making and delivering sandwiches. Since then, Weekend Meals on Wheels volunteers and contributors have prepared and delivered more than 200,000 meals. In 1991, Meals on Wheels Council, Inc. was formed to administer Weekend Meals on Wheels. This board oversees the program and works to ensure that it will continue far into the future.
Since its beginning in 1990, Weekend Meals on Wheels Council Inc.’s mission is to provide meals on the weekends and holidays for homebound seniors residing in New Hanover County when the weekday meals program is closed. Also if there is an emergency, i.e. natural disaster or if the meals are needed during the weekday we provide and offer our services.
As an example of critical need, duringHurricane Florence, Weekend Meals on Wheels stepped up to provide meals to New Hanover County’s shut in seniors. In preparation of the storm, the Weekend program provided shelf stable meals to the clients of the weekend and weekday programs. The normal distribution of a shelf-stable meal for the weekend client list is 277; this delivery was 720 meals.
After the hurricane, as the government-run weekday program was unable to reopen for the full week, the weekend program stepped in to provide to the weekend and the weekday clients fresh and shelf-stable meals throughout the week and weekend. This was a great effort of coordination and logistics involving many organizations and individuals to feed our shut-in seniors during the chaos following the hurricane.
Our clients are 60 years old or older, homebound in our community- those who are frail, elderly, convalescing, sick, or disabled, with no resources or ability to prepare meals on their own. The majority of our clients are 75 years old, and we are seeing an increase in the percentage of our 90 year old clients. Many are lonely. Along with a nourishing meal, our volunteer drivers deliver friendly smiles, compassion and also serve as a liaison between the community and the client.
For many of our clients, this is the only food they will eat and the only person they will see in a day. This service enhances the quality of life for homebound seniors, and for many is a vital service making independent living possible. The Weekend Meals on Wheels Council, Inc. exists because we know there are many seniors, disabled individuals who have no other source to provide and supply daily nutritious meal accompanied by a compassionate individual that cares about them.