Meals on Wheels (MOW)
What is Meals on Wheels?
The Broome County Office for Aging's Meals on Wheels program is a home-delivered meal service available to eligible homebound seniors who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday by caring volunteers who check on customers each day. Frozen meals for weekend consumption may be delivered during the week to customers who have been assessed to be in need of weekend meals.
Delivery is available in Binghamton, Chenango Bridge, Conklin, Kirkwood, Harpursville, Windsor, and Whitney Point. Persons living in Endicott, Endwell, Johnson City, Vestal or Maine can contact Meals on Wheels of Western Broome at 754-7856 or www.mealsonwheelsofwesternbroome.com.
How do I know if I can receive Meals on Wheels?
You are eligible if all of the following apply:
- You are age 60 or older and live in Broome County; and
- You are incapacitated due to accident, illness, or frailty; and
- You are unable to prepare meals for yourself; and
- You have no one available on a regular basis to prepare meals for you.
Eligibility for Meals on Wheels will be determined by trained, professional staff who will visit you at your home. Reassessment for eligibility will occur yearly or more frequently if needed.
Delivery of meals may be affected by space on the Meals on Wheels route. If you are eligible for service, the ability to deliver must be established before services can begin.
How are the Meals delivered and what can I expect?
Each weekday you will receive a hot meal for lunch and cold food items for dinner. Plan to eat the hot meal when it is delivered. You will receive a slice of bread, milk and dessert to complete your hot meal.
Your cold meal pack also contains your dinner - sandwich items, juice or salad, dessert, and milk. These items should be refrigerated immediately. A loaf of bread, delivered weekly, provides two slices of bread so you can make a sandwich.
Some special diet selections are available to allow modification from a regular diet. This special diet allows for moderate reduction in sugar, salt and fat. A mechanical soft texture is available for those who have difficulty chewing. To receive a special diet, we need a completed diet prescription form from your doctor. Forms are available from the Meals on Wheels site supervisor.
Volunteers will deliver meals on Christmas day and Thanksgiving day. If you choose to receive meals on these days, a special hot lunch will be delivered to your home. Along with this you will receive food for your evening meal.
There is no delivery of meals on the following holidays: New Year's Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, and the day after Thanksgiving. If requested, you can receive a frozen meal and cold food items to be eaten on holidays. These frozen meals will be delivered the workday before the holiday along with the regular meal.
Example - if Labor Day is on Monday, then the Friday before Labor Day you'll receive:
- for Friday - a hot meal and a cold dinner
- for Labor Day (Monday) - a frozen meal to reheat and a cold dinner for the holiday
Inclement Weather Days
In the event of bad weather and road conditions, delivery may be cancelled. Follow these guidelines to determine if meal delivery is cancelled for the day:
- In the City of Binghamton...
Radio and television stations will broadcast an announcement stating:
"Meals on Wheels in the City of Binghamton is closed."
- In Rural Areas...
Whitney Point, Harpursville, Windsor, Conklin, Kirkwood, and Chenango Bridge
Radio and television stations will broadcast school closings.
"When schools in your area are closed, no meals will be delivered."
In the early part of the winter, blizzard boxes are delivered to some houses. Blizzard boxes contain nonperishable canned and packaged foods that you can use when Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are unable to deliver meals due to inclement weather. Save the meals in the blizzard boxes for use on days when meal delivery is not possible. When you hear that Meals on Wheels (or the schools in your area) is closed, then you should eat some of the emergency meals in the blizzard box.
Things to Remember About Meal Delivery
- We cannot deliver a meal to your home unless someone is there to receive it. Meals cannot be left unattended because of possible food spoilage and/or contamination. No exceptions can be made.
- You are responsible to make your home safe for the volunteer to deliver your meal. This includes, but is not limited to, confining pets. Failure to do this will result in the cancellation of meal service.
Contributions for your meals are requested. The suggested contribution for meals is $3.00 per meal, $6.00 per day. All contributions are kept confidential and voluntary. Contributions are used to support and expand the program. No one is denied service because they cannot contribute.
Individuals whose income is at or above 185 % of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are asked to contribute at an amount that represents the actual costs of the meals ($6.50 per meal). You are asked to contribute at this rate if your monthly household income is more than $1,772 and you live alone; or if you live in a household of 2 and your monthly income exceeds $2,391.
Nutrition Counseling for Clients Receiving Meals on Wheels
A dietitian is available to answer questions you may have about your diet. The dietitian can help guide you on ways to best plan your Meals on Wheels into your special diet needs. The dietitian can be contacted by calling 607.778.2411.
Meals on Wheels Gazette
Meals on Wheels Volunteers Needed!
Meals on Wheels volunteers are considered the “heart and soul” of this program. Volunteers deliver the prepared meals, act as friendly visitors and collect client contributions. The volunteer schedule is flexible; volunteers may help once a week, once a month, or whenever they have the time to help. For more information, contact our office at 607.778.6205.
Questions and Concerns
Please let staff know if you have any concerns about the Meals on Wheels program by calling our office at 607.778.6205.
The nutrition program is sponsored by the U. S. Administration on Aging, the New York State Office for Aging, Broome County, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and participant contributions.
Many of our Meals on Wheels customers report a better sense of well being after receiving the meals and also feel the service has helped them remain independent - an important service for people who want to continue living in their own home.