Our Four Pillars
The Meals On Wheels Association of America raises funds to support Four Pillars, which comprise our approach to eradicating senior hunger.
The National Campaign for Community Impact
The "National Campaign" enables local Meals On Wheels programs to provide the next meal to seniors at risk through grants and other resources.
The National Campaign helps our Member programs serve more meals:
- "We are the only provider of meals to the homebound in our county. If we cannot provide food to someone, then they will not have any food to eat. These people are literally going to bed hungry."
- "We can only deliver five days a week. On days we do not deliver, our clients are left with eating a cold sandwich – or in some cases, not eating at all."
The National Campaign helps our Member programs maintain and repair needed equipment:
- "We have recently faced unexpected expenses because of the aging of our building and equipment…the roof is leaking, the heat exchangers are breaking, and refrigeration systems and pot-washers are breaking down."
The National Campaign allows seniors to live independently, in their own homes:
- "One family member called to tell me that her 92-year-old mother-in-law is not capable of reheating a meal for herself. Having the Meals on Wheels driver stop in daily was an important part of assuring her mother-in-law remained safe in her own home."
The Meals On Wheels Leadership Academy
Through “The Academy,” the Meals On Wheels Association of America empowers leaders in the senior nutrition field with training, skills and knowledge.
The Academy provides training in five critical areas: nutrition, leadership, development, communication, and volunteer management.
- "The leadership series in November was the most comprehensive program I have attended in quite some time...I came away from the training renewed and ready to move my program to new heights...I want to be the leader who can inspire and excite the staff about the work we do every day."
The Academy provides scholarships that allow the Meals On Wheels staff most in need to participate.
- "We have directed all available resources in our budget to assist seniors who are in need of food. Money budgeted for education is no longer available and yet desperately needed."
The National Response to Senior Hunger
Senior hunger is truly a nationwide problem – it is not limited to one race, geographic area or income level. Through the “National Response,” the Meals On Wheels Association of America works through public and private partnerships to eradicate senior hunger.
The National Response is about conducting research:
- "We are pleased that the Meals On Wheels Association of America-commissioned research provides a better understanding of the extent of senior hunger...it will help in the development and implementation of targeted, fact-based interventions that can increase the effectiveness of both private sector and public sector efforts to reduce senior hunger."
The National Response is about raising awareness:
- "On April 22, the Meals On Wheels Association of America held a congressional briefing as part of its Rural Initiative for Members of Congress and staff in the U.S. Capitol. It was clear from the Congressional participation…that the policymakers on the Hill were interested in what our Meals On Wheels Association of America representatives had to say, and that much of the information we were imparting was new to them."
The National Response is about identifying emerging trends:
- Senior Nutrition Programs in rural areas face unique challenges such as time, distance, cost and labor. The Meals On Wheels Association of America's Rural Initiative will bring together a broad array of resources, to develop a blueprint for the model rural Senior Nutrition Program that ensures both enhanced capacity and sustainability.
Capacity building allows the Meals On Wheels Association of America to improve its internal capabilities to enhance Meals On Wheels programs nationally.
Capacity building means having the right infrastructure to support our Member programs:
- "This is an Association that treats everyone as their family member. No matter the need, be it education, help solving a problem, suggestions to make your program better, the Meals On Wheels Association of America is there."
Capacity building means avoiding waste, and ensuring efficient and dedicated action:
- We work hard to keep administrative costs low -- in 2008, overhead was just 16% of our total operating expenses. This is one of the reasons that the Meals On Wheels Association of America was named one of the Wise Giving Alliance Better Business Bureau's Top Accredited Charities.
- The Meals On Wheels Association of America believes strongly in transparency. We make our annual financial statements available to donors, Members, and the general public.