Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio making strides to ensure safety of volunteers and clients during Pandemic

Under normal circumstances, seniors are often homebound and hungry. Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing so many to stay home, please remember Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio is still operating.

Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio, a program of VANTAGE Aging has always followed the most stringent guidelines relating to food and personal safety. Over 2,300 homebound individuals in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties rely on Meals on Wheels NEO to get the nutritious meals they need to live with independence and dignity.

Acquiring and delivering food for our most vulnerable no easy task, especially in the heat of the Pandemic. As Meals on Wheels works diligently to provide them with the necessary nutrition during this uncertain time, it is asking for the community’s help and support.

Help needed to feed hungry seniors

Meals on Wheels NEO needs the support of the public so that no senior goes hungry. The agency has provided shelf-stable foods for all clients in Stark, Summit, and Wayne counties for 10 days. In the event that it is unable to prepare normal fresh meals, seniors will still be fed.

VANTAGE Aging CEO Ted Watko explained that the agency is working to ensure the safety of volunteers, staff, and clients.

“We are striving to get ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic by contacting local funders and requesting support so that we can provide shelf-stable foods for homebound clients,” said Watko. “With the closing of our congregate dining sites, we must also find a way to deliver meals to those clients as well.”

Somebody gets to be a hero today – Is it you?

Meals on Wheels NEO needs volunteers and financial support to ensure no senior goes hungry.

During this time, the organization is in desperate need of volunteers to deliver meals in Stark and Wayne Counties. Volunteers are provided with training and have no contact with those served. There are safety protocols in place for volunteers and clients.

Businesses, churches, and groups are encouraged to join the Adopt-a-Route program for additional corporate benefits.

You can sign up for a delivery shift in your Stark or Wayne neighborhood by calling 330-832-7220 or visiting

Monetary donations will make a critical impact. Meals on Wheels NEO’s must provide shelf-stable foods for all clients. In the event that the agency is unable to prepare normal fresh meals, clients will receive nonperishable items provided through the generous support of the community. Donations can be made by visiting VANTAGE’s donation website page:

Meals on Wheels NEO will continue to keep the public notified via its website and social media channels as things unfold that impact clients, volunteers, or staff. Clients will receive communications with their meal deliveries.

Measures against the spread of COVID-19

We know that senior citizens are at a higher risk for contracting the virus. VANTAGE Aging has increased cleaning in high-touch areas to ensure the safest food preparation areas. It has also introduced new protocols to prevent any direct contact between volunteers and clients.

Per the recommendations of both the CDC and Governor DeWine, Meals on Wheels NEO served its last congregate meal on March 16, 2020, and has provided a 10-day supply of shelf-stable and frozen meals to those clients.

Meals on Wheels is continuing home-delivered meals, frozen in Summit County and hot and frozen in Stark and Wayne Counties, until such time as it is no longer considered safe.

Meals on Wheels has ordered a 10-day supply of shelf-stable foods for all clients and are awaiting delivery. In the event that MOWNEO is required to shut down the kitchen, it will provide clients with these meals every 10 days until the crisis has passed.

For questions, please contact Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio at 1-800-466-8010.

View the latest updates on how VANTAGE Aging is handling the COVID-19 situation.


About VANTAGE Aging: VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Behavioral health services administered by the Blick Center. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330.253.4597 or visit

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