From Meals on Wheels Central Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:
Meals on Wheels Central Texas seeks to nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living.
Who We Are:
Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) is one of the largest meal-delivery organizations in the state, distributing 3,000 meals each business day to homebound older adults and people with disabilities. Part of the Austin area community since 1972, MOWCTX believes in holistic case management and also offers the following services to our clients through our many programs: in home care; minor and major home repairs; grocery shopping assistance; a monthly supply of shelf-stable groceries; extra shelf-stable meals for the nutritionally at-risk; veteran services; problem-solving therapies; rural meal delivery; Alzheimer's respite care; and pet food and pet health care for our clients’ dogs and cats.
Our programs are designed to nourish and enrich the lives of the people we serve, allowing them to live at home with dignity and independence. These programs include:
· Meals on Wheels: Our signature program, Meals on Wheels is a holistic nutrition program that provides home-delivered prepared meals for seniors and other homebound clients throughout the Greater Austin area. This program provides case management services to individuals enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program. Each recipient receives one hot meal per day during the week and may have an option of receiving supplemental frozen meals for the weekend. Our 7500+ volunteers deliver the meals to clients’ homes along with a quick visit and safety check.
· Home Repair: Our Home Repair and Architectural Barrier Removal program is for low income homeowner clients who face serious structural issues with their homes resulting in a decline in health and safety. Through this program, we provide major home safety repairs and accessibility modifications for eligible seniors. Our home repair model is holistic home repair rather than a patch job. That’s because the home repair program started as a result of our core mission to enable our clients to age in place. One can’t age in place when their home has barriers that make it impossible to live there.
· HAND In-Home Care: Our well trained personal caregivers provide high quality in-home care services that help people remain living in their homes with dignity and independence. Our services are a perfect fit for homebound seniors or other adults with disabilities, who need assistance with activities of daily living around their home and community. Our in-home services are not clinical in nature. However, in-home care can play an important role in providing a safety net for the frail among us. In-home care has been shown to be a supportive tool in reducing hospital readmission and fall prevention.
We offer sliding scale fee ($0-$17/ hour) based on income for those at or below 250% of poverty. Funding for services may be available through multiple sources; our intake worker will provide assistance in identifying payment options.
· Veterans Services: Our veterans assistance program includes hot, nutritious meals as well as general case management. Veterans at risk for malnourishment are also enrolled in our Breakfast Meal Program, a weekly supply of nutritious morning meals. Military veterans often face unique challenges and circumstances that civilians don’t encounter. This program allows us to help these men and women navigate the complex array of benefits and resources available to veterans through a variety of government and private agencies.
· Country Wheels: This program provides seven frozen meals once per week to seniors who live in remote rural areas across seven counties not covered by our regular daily meal delivery routes. Coverage area includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, I-35 corridor and The Village of Bear Creek area of Hays, Lee, NE and SE Travis, and Williamson Counties.
· PALS: Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors (PALS) offers assistance in caring for the pets of our elderly and disabled homebound clients. PALS provides free dog and cat food on a monthly basis to more than 350 pets owned by our clients. Pets get the food they need, and our clients, many of whom are socially isolated, benefit from interaction with our pet-loving volunteers.
- Mike’s Place: A respite program for the elderly with dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of memory loss, Mike’s Place also serves as a source of support and rest for caregivers.
· Breakfast Meals: Breakfast Meals provides morning meals to our most at-risk clients. Eligibility is based on a variety of risk factors including, but not limited to: malnourished state, recent weight loss, eating fewer than two meals per day, not having enough money to buy food, and lack of a support system.
· Senior Centers: Our Senior Centers program provides lunchtime meals and daytime senior activities at community centers around the Austin-area.
· Groceries to Go: This grocery shopping service matches volunteers with seniors who can cook for themselves, but who have no reliable or consistent help with grocery shopping. If the client is able to get around on their own, volunteers help prepare a shopping list, provide transportation to and from the grocery store and assist with shopping and putting groceries away. If the client is mobility impaired, volunteers collect the grocery list and payment and do the shopping for them. Clients provide payment for all purchases. Volunteers may also be asked to pick up prescriptions if the pharmacy is near the grocery store.
· HOPE: Healthy Options Program for the Elderly (hope) is a grocery delivery service providing additional food items to seniors and adults with disabilities who have been identified as being the most nutritionally at risk. HOPE is a collaboration between Meals on Wheels Central Texas and the Central Texas Food Bank. On the second Saturday of each month, volunteers deliver bags of non-perishable groceries to the homes of clients in need.
To learn more, please visit us online at www.mealsonwheelscentraltexas.org.