“We are Meals On Wheels” Project
In October 2010, the Walmart Foundation awarded MOWAA a $5 million grant to launch the "We are Meals On Wheels" Project. The “We are Meals On Wheels” Project consists of four major components: (1) Walmart Foundation - MOWAA Building the Future Grants Program, (2) “We are Meals On Wheels” National Mutli-Media Public Awareness Campaign, (3) Walmart Foundation Institute for Senior Nutrition Education, and (4) MOWAA State-Affiliate Training Wheels Program.
Walmart Foundation - MOWAA Building the Future Grants Program
The Walmart Foundation - MOWAA Building the Future Grants Program is designed to encourage innovation and help struggling local MOWAA Member programs provide meals to seniors in need today, as well as assist them in modernizing their programs in the future. These modernization efforts could include fostering collaborative services, streamlining operations and redesigning operational systems in order to build capacity necessary to attract and meet the needs of seniors. Two types of grants will be awarded to select Meals On Wheels programs under the Building the Future Grants umbrella: Building the Future Impact Grants and Building the Future Vision Grants.
The Impact Grants, modeled after the highly successful 2010 Walmart Impact Grant Program, will provide up to $20,000 to programs to enable them primarily to replace or upgrade obsolete equipment. These grants will help small and medium-sized local Meals On Wheels programs extend and expand services to other needy seniors in the community now and build capacity for the increased demands in the future. The Vision Grants will provide grants between $50,000 and $100,000 to select large MOWAA Member programs to assist them in reducing senior hunger now and in preparing for the future by revolutionizing their current operations and service delivery models. Grant recipients of this particular grant program will implement plans for large-scale, innovative and comprehensive systems change.
Learn more about the 20 MOWAA Member programs that received Building the Future Vision Grants and about the MOWAA Member programs that received Building the Future Impact Grants.
“We are Meals On Wheels” National Multi-Media Public Awareness Campaign
The second component of the MOWAA - Walmart Foundation Building the Future Project, the “We are Meals On Wheels” National Multi-Media Public Awareness Campaign, will provide local MOWAA Member programs with the tools they need to easily implement and execute a multi-media awareness campaign in their local community. The campaign, hosted on a national level, will support Meals On Wheels programs in generating awareness about the existence of senior hunger in their local areas and about their programs’ needs. Participating programs will have the opportunity to apply for a Public Awareness Incentive Grant through the funds MOWAA received from the Walmart Foundation.
Walmart Foundation Institute for Senior Nutrition Education
The third element of the MOWAA - Walmart Foundation “We Are Meals On Wheels” Project is the Walmart Foundation Institute for Senior Nutrition Education. The Walmart Foundation Institute for Senior Nutrition Education will allow MOWAA Members the opportunity to pursue Certificates in Nutrition through MOWAA’s Leadership Academy. Through funding from the Walmart Foundation, MOWAA will provide select individual MOWAA Members grants to cover travel and lodging expenses in order to attend these informative sessions.
The Walmart Institute for Senior Nutrition Education also will house the virtual Source 4 Senior Nutrition and Healthy Aging (The Source). The Source will be comprised of two user-focused information collections: the MOWAA Professional Senior Nutrition Library and the Walmart/MOWAA Senior Nutrition Resource Connection.
The MOWAA Professional Senior Nutrition Library will give the staff of Meals On Wheels programs nationwide continuous online access to informational resources specifically structured to meet their needs as frontline providers of nutritious meals and nutritional services to one of the fastest growing, and increasingly vulnerable, segments of the population. Library content will be evaluated by nutrition experts to determine its currency and relevance.
The Walmart/MOWAA Senior Nutrition Resource Connection, offered to the general public, will be an online interactive tool to promote active healthy aging by working to reduce nutrition risk among older adults. It will include comprehensive nutrition tips and menu suggestions, activities and lifestyle programs for older adults and their caregivers to better manage healthy lifestyle choices. The goal of the Connection will be to support quality of life, improve functionality, promote independence and decrease early nursing home admissions and hospitalizations through better nutrition. Like the Senior Nutrition Library, Connection content will be reviewed and submitted by nutrition experts.
MOWAA State-Affiliate Training Wheels Program
The last element of the MOWAA - Walmart Foundation “We are Meals On Wheels” Project is the MOWAA State-Affiliate Program. As a national association, MOWAA has long been recognized for the networking opportunities that it affords its individual Members, as well as for its alliances and advocacy efforts on the federal level. While such activities are central to MOWAA’s work, interaction between MOWAA Members at a State level can benefit these programs through the formal structure of a MOWAA State-Affiliate.
MOWAA will foster and cultivate the creation of State Affiliate organizations (State Associations) by providing interested MOWAA Members the resources that they need to bring together individuals from throughout a State for a face-to-face organizational meeting. The primary vehicle for accomplishing this will be MOWAA Training Wheels courses on location in the various States. These Training Wheels courses will provide the incentive for programs to come together to meet and learn and then to conduct the official organizing meeting for the State Association. Participation in the organizational meeting would be a condition on which attendance of the Training Wheels session would be predicated. MOWAA will work with designated leaders in states desiring to become MOWAA-Affiliated State Associations to develop a menu of short courses addressing critical areas of educational need; recruit outstanding faculty willing to travel to present half-day workshops; assist local MOWAA Members in securing centrally-located venues to present Training Wheels sessions; and help local Members in the promotion of these meetings. Training Wheels courses will be offered without charge, as a benefit to charter members of the State Affiliate.
Learn more about MOWAA’s partnership with the Walmart Foundation.