How to Qualify For Meals on Wheels
Our goal is to support as many elderly neighbors with healthy, nutritious meals so that they can remain in the safety and security of their own homes.
We help seniors who are homebound, meaning they are unable to leave their home without help.
Homebound seniors especially face barriers in getting nutritious meals. These at-risk seniors have a difficult time shopping for and preparing food for themselves. This can result from multiple factors such as:
- Lack of resources
- Lack of family support
- Lack of transportation
Besides having problems preparing foods, specialty medicines can change how food tastes, take away a senior’s appetite, or even cause nausea.
Lack of financial resources, notably, is a cause for concern for many seniors and caregivers. Homebound seniors will usually buy cheap, prepared foods rather than fresh food and vegetables.
According to Feed America, 5.3 million seniors face malnutrition in the United States. That is 7.3% of the senior population!
Since there are approximately 175,000 seniors living in Contra Costa and surrounding areas, one-third or more of our neighbors will face malnutrition at some point. That’s why Meals on Wheels provides our neighbors with nutritious meals, delivered right to their doors.
We strive to make our meals accessible to as many elders as possible. To qualify for Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa, we have a couple of requirements.
How do I Qualify for Meals on Wheels?
Meals on Wheels is designed to assist seniors by providing healthy, nutritious meals they would otherwise be unable to make themselves.
To Qualify for Meals on Wheels, the eligibility requirements are:
- As a senior, you are 60 years or older.
- You are homebound.
- You are unable to make meals for yourself and do not receive other assistance from family members or a caregiver.
- You must live within Contra Costa County.
The majority of our senior Contra Costa community members fall below the poverty line and have difficulty shopping for, affording, and preparing nutritious meals. Most of the seniors who are currently in our program are actually also in their 80’s!
In addition, many of our seniors have one or more chronic health conditions. The National Institute on Aging estimates that 60% of seniors have one or more chronic health conditions, which leads to difficulty in caring for themselves or their spouses.
Our seniors tend to live in more isolated areas and live further away from their friends and families. This is another barrier to shopping for nutritious foods, since many of these isolated seniors live far from easily accessible shopping centers.
Any questions about these requirements can be directed to our Meals on Wheels partners! Meals on Wheels West Contra Costa’s number is (510)-412-0166. Meals on Wheels Diablo Region number is (926)-937-8607.
If I Qualify for Meals on Wheels, What Does it Cost?
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa understands that not everyone can contribute towards the cost of the meals. All of our seniors are given the opportunity to donate towards the cost of their meals if they are able, but it’s not at all required.
No senior will ever be denied service if they can’t contribute!
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa and our partners are always looking for innovative ways to fund our meals, including through donations and grants!
When I Qualify for Meals on Wheels, are Meals Always Available?
Yes, meals are always available to our seniors!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our meals are currently delivered only once a week. We have two fresh meals and five frozen meals delivered by our helpful volunteers.
Our frozen meals are easily prepared in the microwave or on a stove top. We have found, with feedback from our clients, that this is an easy way for them to get the nutrition that they need during the pandemic.
During the holidays, our seniors that qualify for Meals on Wheels receive their meals during a modified delivery schedule. We always provide fresh or frozen meals so that none of our seniors miss out even though it’s the holidays.
One of the many options for seniors who are potentially worried about their food supply is our Emergency Packs. We provide these annually to our seniors, so they can have “backup” supplies for a potential emergency. Our Emergency Packs include shelf-stable items that can last for several months at a time. These packs are great for when there is a power-outage or potential issues due to fire.
What is the Best Contact so I Can Learn More About How to Qualify for Meals on Wheels?
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa is here to help our homebound neighbors! We want to make getting in touch with us as easy as possible.
For any general questions our toll free phone number is (866)-669-6697 and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for services or contact our partners, visit our Services Page! Here you will find the correct Meals on Wheels program that corresponds to where you or your elderly loved one lives as well as more information about how to qualify for Meals on Wheels.