Welcome to the Newly Merged Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio
Effective January 1, 2019, Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties and VANTAGE Meals on Wheels of Northern Ohio merged to form Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio. Announced on October 1, 2018, the merger will allow more seniors to receive nutritious meals in a three county service area to support their health and ability to age-in-place.
Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties has been serving homebound and nutritionally at-risk individuals across the two-county area located in Northeast Ohio for 45 years. Established in 1973 as a senior meal program called The Stark Nutrition Program, founders included Canton Mayor Stanley A. Cmich, business leader William Belden, Jr., and community leader Jane Schirack. Initially, a direct service of United Way of Central Stark County, the nonprofit became an independent agency in 1991.
Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties started as a catered company serving 435 seniors per day through satellite nutrition sites in Stark & Wayne counties. In 1997, the agency expanded and opened its own commissary, unique to this area and specifically designed to meet our community’s needs. Over the past 45 years, more than 13 million meals were prepared and delivered to clients by thousands of community volunteers.
Meals on Wheels of Northern Ohio formed in 1984 as a nutrition program designed to support older adults. Originally serving a hot lunch daily, as the need to serve more people grew, so did service offerings. Eventually, the program grew from serving 5,000 meals a year to delivering over 250,000 frozen meals to over 800 homebound and feeding another 250 congregate dining clients every day.
Together, the merged Meals on Wheels program will continue to serve the three contiguous counties and estimates delivery of nearly 600,000 meals each year to the homes of seniors and disabled residents while another 48,000 congregate meals will be provided.
WILL THERE BE A CHANGE TO MY MEALS?
Our goal is to provide uninterrupted service but offer expanded meal options. Delivery models and food for each program will initially remain the same. People wishing to receive frozen meals in Stark and Wayne Counties will eventually have access to a “Choice” menu, allowing clients to select from a variety of frozen entrees and side dishes they can mix and match to their own tastes. Summit County clients who may be unable to reheat frozen meals on their own will soon receive hot meals.
WHY CHOOSE MEALS ON WHEELS OF NORTHEAST OHIO?
Peace of Mind
With trained professional drivers and a compassionate corps of volunteers delivering meals, we provide more than a meal by offering wellness checks and companionship to address social isolation. Lives have been saved because of the quick responses of dedicated volunteers and staff. We take note of changes in behavior or physical condition, providing peace of mind to caregivers concerned about the well-being of their loved ones. Our nutritious meals help people to maintain their independence and prevents premature institutionalization. With access to healthy and delicious food and proper nutrition, Meals on Wheels helps to lower medical costs associated with social isolation, malnutrition, dehydration, and falls.
Strong Community Partnerships
Governed by community advocates serving on our Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio has established relationships with multiple community partners across the three-county service area, including:
- Local hospitals
- The Timken Company
- Wooster Chamber of Commerce
- Medina Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce
- Summit County Department of Job and Family Services-Adult Protective Services
- Akron Public Schools
- University of Akron
- Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
- Direction Home Akron-Canton Area on Aging & Disabilities
- Stark County Healthcare Professionals