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Main > Assistance > Meals On Wheels of Rhode Island
Meals On Wheels of Rhode Island
Meals on Wheels of RI, Inc. is an non-profit organization dedicated primarily to meeting the nutritional and other special needs of the elderly in order to help them maintain thier independent lifestyle. Many of these elderly people are able to care for their needs in their own homes if they have some help with nutritious meals or with some other social services.
The Home Delivered Meal program was set up in February 1969 in office space donated by Grace Church in downtown Providence. It began with 10 volunteers from various churches serving 17 clients on a single route in Providence. With the passage of the Older Americans Act in 1972, Meals on Wheels of RI was able to greatly expand this program and to add new and much needed services for the elderly. Last year well over 600,000 meals were delivered to 5,000 homebound elders throughout the state. In addition, our Senior Dining Program served 450 meals daily at eighteen sites in Providence.
We also have a full case management staff that is responsible for social services for elders in the city of Providence. The social workers and nurse visit nearly 2,000 people a year seeing that needed services such as a visiting nurse or home health aid are obtained. We also operate the Alan Shawn Feinstein Emergency Food Pantry for Seniors, people with disabilities and families with dependent children. Additionally, we install emergency response equipment to provide immediate help to elders living alone.
Meals on Wheels newest program is Volunteer Guardianship. We recruit and train volunteers to be court appointed legal guardians for health care for cognitively disabled elders. We are serving close to one hundred elders who can no longer make secure decisions about their own health care and who have neither funds nor family to help them.
Almost all of our programs depend on volunteers. Over the course of a year, 1,000 of these generous people: deliver meals in their own vehicles and make sure the client is safe and has a little social interaction, or they serve meals at community centers, or they help distribute food from our pantry, or they serve as legal advocates for a sick and vulnerable elder. They care. They believe in our mission. We could not do the work without them.