Meal on Wheels of Contra Costa and our partners provide meals to seniors who can no longer get to the grocery store or cook meals themselves. This might be because of disability or chronic health conditions that cause mobility issues or make driving unsafe.
It is an invaluable service for many seniors that need extra help to stay independent in their homes. Our senior meal delivery programs currently helps over three thousand Contra Costa County seniors.
But Meals on Wheels doesn’t just deliver food. We provide other benefits to the seniors in the community.
Senior Meal Delivery
The meals are delivered on a set schedule and at low to no cost to the senior, depending on the situation. Before the Covid 19 pandemic, hot meals were delivered daily.
With the onset of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels transitioned to a set of frozen meals weekly. The situation constantly evolves, and hot meals have been added back into rotation when conditions allow it. Even during the worst time of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels was committed to ensuring vulnerable seniors could get food and stay safe in their homes. This was especially important since seniors have a lowered immune system and are more at risk of being hospitalized from Covid 19.
But the goal of the meal delivery program is not just food delivery. It is so much more. Here at Meal on Wheels of Contra Costa, we want to help set up a network that seniors can depend on. We provide healthy, nutritious meals, wellness checks, and social interaction.
Healthy Meal Prep
The meals delivered to seniors are designed to be nutritionally balanced and rotated to provide variety. It’s the ultimate form of healthy meal prep!
But what does healthy meal prep actually mean? For senior health, its meals that contribute to their overall quality of life.
Each meal is designed with the help of dietitians to provide all the necessary nutrients seniors need to stay healthy. The meals are made to reach appropriate levels of minerals essential for health like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Each meal will contain a protein, vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat milk or a milk alternative, and a dessert. All meals are designed to be low in sodium. These meals are either delivered hot or can quickly be heated up for quick healthy meals.
Senior health is essential, and the volunteer delivery drivers for Meals on Wheels keep an eye on seniors on their route to ensure everything is alright. They take action if they see something concerning or a resident tells them something is wrong. Drivers can pass messages along so that the right people contact the seniors and ensure they get the help they need. This includes looking out for physical and mental health since both are a risk for isolated seniors. As we age, our bodies start to break down, and health problems become more common. Something that starts off as a small problem can easily become larger if ignored. Preventative care can help manage many problems before they get out of hand.
Mental health is a risk factor for isolated seniors as well. Isolation and feeling cut off from friends and family can lead to depression. Volunteers look for signs of loneliness when they perform wellness checks and can make sure that the right people are informed if there is any problem.
Wellness checks can also ensure that seniors get help in other areas of their lives. If they need better wheelchair accessibility in their house, someone from Meals on Wheels can connect them with businesses that can help them. The wellness check is about looking for ways that we can help seniors live better lives while staying independent in their homes.
A wellness check also provides social interaction for seniors who may not get out of the house very often. Many seniors are cut off from their social circles because of health problems and the inability to travel or be out of the house for long periods of time. Social isolation takes a toll on mental health, and just having someone come by the house once a day or even once a week to check in can help to improve mental health immensely. Our volunteers don’t just check on the seniors’ health on their route; they provide friendship.
More Than Meal Delivery
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa aims to help our community’s seniors in several ways. Hot or frozen meals are designed to meet nutritional needs and delivered right to seniors’ doorsteps when they cannot go grocery shopping or cook for themselves.
The meals are nutritionally balanced and rotated to provide variety. Wellness checks are performed to make sure that everything is ok at home. And the delivery and wellness checks provide important social interaction.
Altogether, Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa provides an important service for the seniors in their area that helps them stay healthy and independent.
We are always looking for new senior meal delivery donors and partners to provide seniors with quick healthy meals! Contact us to learn more about our giving options or ask how your family member, loved one, or friend can sign up to receive nutritious meals from our senior meal delivery program.