The program delivers meals to individuals who are unable to purchase or prepare their own food. Embracing a "more than a meal" model, The Health Trust provides daily in-home visits, nutritious meals and safety checks.
Last year, we visited a Mountain View resident when she was enjoying her daily Meals on Wheels visit from her driver, Adela. The client has limited mobility, lives alone and was only eating one meal per day before she began receiving Meals on Wheels. She now enjoys two home-delivered meals five days per week and receives a grocery delivery once a month. She shared how much she enjoys speaking with Adela, who is trained to note unusual behavior or circumstances and call for help when needed.
As an example of the "more than a meal" value of Meals on Wheels, two years ago, a volunteer driver arrived at client Russell's home to deliver his hot meal. Russell was unusually groggy. Smelling gas, the driver quickly opened the windows and looked for a gas leak. Russell had covered his stove with plastic to protect it from some construction repairs and had accidentally turned on a stove knob.
The driver immediately reported the incident to Meals on Wheels staff, who followed up with Russell's emergency contact. Crisis was averted.
"Meals on Wheels is a vital part of my life," says Russell. "I would not be able to survive without the food provided by Meals on Wheels. The drivers are important to me also — they chat with me and I visit with them. They keep me from being so lonely, as I can't get out much."
Meals on Wheels is often the difference between remaining at home and needing to relocate to a care facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help residents cope with hunger, isolation and loss of independence. Families sleep better at night and can continue their daily routines knowing that Meals on Wheels is keeping a watchful eye over their aging loved ones.
The city of Mountain View supports The Health Trust's Meals on Wheels program; last year, The Health Trust provided more than 10,000 meals in Mountain View.
To learn more about receiving Meals on Wheels, please call 408-961-9870. There is no charge for this service for qualified applicants, although donations are appreciated.
The Health Trust also employs drivers and needs volunteers to help deliver meals or provide regular friendly home visits and phone calls. Monetary donations are an essential component of Meals on Wheels too. To learn more, please visit healthtrust.org or call 408-513-8700.
Our community is healthier when everyone has access to nutritious food and support services.
Margaret Abe-Koga is the mayor of Mountain View and Michele Lew is CEO of The Health Trust, a San Jose-based foundation that works to tackle health disparities in Silicon Valley.
This story contains 540 words.
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