Nutrition is Key to Healthy Aging

PVI Meals on Wheels has delivered hot, nutritious meals to program participants since 1977.  The principal goal of Meals on Wheels is to keep home-bound elderly, frail, and disabled adults healthy through proper nutritional support, which allows them to remain in their own homes and communities.

Currently, PVI Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers 2,500 meals per weeks to our clients. The meals are prepared and packaged in the kitchen at PVI Little House, where cooking is done primarily from scratch.  PVI Meals on Wheels is one of the few programs that continues to deliver fresh, hot meals each day.  The donation requested is $4.35 per meal.

PVI Meals on Wheels now serves most of San Mateo County!  As our services have expanded, not only will we increase in the number of meals provided, but the service area will increase to include ten additional cities.  Cities now served include: Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Bruno, San Mateo, and South San Francisco.

The expansion entails the transition of seniors who had been receiving frozen meals one time per week to home delivery of hot, fresh meals five days per week and well-being checks.  For many of these seniors, this will mean a visit from a smiling volunteer driver multiple times a week, where they may only have seen one person all week under the previous program.

The staff and volunteers will visit each participant in their home weekdays not long after they enroll in the Meals on Wheels service.  Clients are re- assessed every 90 days, either face- to-face or by telephone to discuss their needs and living situation, often making referrals to other community services to help clients remain safe and live independently in their own communities.

The target populations for Meals on Wheels are seniors (age 60 and over as mandated by the Older Americans Act) and adults with disabilities (18 years and older) who are primarily homebound and unable to shop and cook for themselves and who have little or no help to do those tasks.  Priority participants are low-income, live-alone, minority, those with limited English, or those at risk for institutional placement.

Nutrition is a key component to ensure healthy and functional living among older adults. Studies have shown 38% of community dwelling older adults are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.  The State of Senior Hunger in America 2011: An Annual Report indicated that 15.2% or about 1 in every 6.5 seniors in the U.S are food insecure.  In San Mateo County, about 16,000 local seniors are food insecure or hungry.

Home delivered meals are needed to increase access to food and nutritional services, improve the quality of life, and promote independence for older adult residents.  Good nutrition is good medicine and it is vital to healthy living.  Delivering a meal may be as positive of an experience as receiving a meal.

Meals on Wheels is a crucial part of PVI’s mission to provide programs, support, and guidance to seniors as they pursue the pathway of a long and useful life. The simple act of delivering hot, fresh meals to seniors and the interaction they receive makes all the difference.