Meals on Wheels needs additional volunteers to provide critical assistance

Meals on Wheels client Joan Atkinson (left) receives a delivery from volunteer Barbara Hartford

For senior adults and people with physical or mental challenges, simple tasks like shopping and cooking can be difficult to perform. The Meals on Wheels program (MOW) offers a helpful solution, providing nutritious meals delivered right to the door. 

MOW volunteers package and deliver two meals a day, five days a week, to people in need throughout our community. The food is prepared fresh each morning at the A.M. McGregor Home, divided into individual packages at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, and delivered to clients between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Each client receives one hot and one cold meal at a cost of $6.25 per day. The hot meal consists of protein, starch, vegetable, salad, dessert, and milk. The cold meal consists of a sandwich and fruit. Meals are low-sodium and suitable for people with diabetes. Clients choose how many meals they wish to receive per week.

Coordinated through the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging, this program is available to anyone temporarily or permanently unable to shop and cook for him- or herself due to age, illness, disability, or accident.

MOW volunteers check on clients when they make deliveries, and alert the family if they suspect a problem. Sometimes the volunteer is the only person the client sees throughout the week.

Volunteers provide a critical safety net for their clients. On more than one occasion, a volunteer arrived for a delivery and discovered that the client had fallen or was in need of medical assistance.

MOW receives no government subsidies and relies on volunteers to keep the program going. Unfortunately, in recent months, the number of volunteers has declined.  To avoid cutting back meal delivery from five days to three, additional volunteers are needed. 

If you are able to volunteer your time to this critical program, even for just a couple of hours a week, contact Hazel Haffner at 216-382-5697.

Anyone wishing to receive meal assistance should call the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging at 216-691-7377.

Judith Eugene

Judith Eugene is a native of Cleveland Heights who provides life-enrichment classes and activities for senior adults and those with physical and mental challenges through She may be reached at 216-408-5578 or

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 11:30 AM, 02.29.2012