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Agency Profile: Meals on Wheels

May 9th, 2012 10:22 am by Staff Report

About the Agency

Meals on Wheels of Kingsport (MOW) has been in operation since 1972 when three local women approached churches and other community groups to generate interest in a program to cook and deliver meals to impaired residents. Over the past 40 years, numerous volunteers have made MOW the vibrant program it is today.

In the beginning, meals were prepared and delivered two days per week. Now, noonday meals are prepared and delivered five days per week, 52 weeks per year, including weekday holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two area churches, Waverly Road Presbyterian and First Presbyterian, allow MOW to use their kitchens for meal preparation. On any given day, a total of 30-35 volunteers are involved in either cooking or delivering these meals. MOW serves 13 different distribution routes and volunteer drivers deliver approximately 240 meals each day. Last year, volunteers prepared and delivered over 61,000 meals to isolated, incapacitated senior citizens or other home-bound disabled persons.

Funding for MOW is primarily through the United Way, although additional donations from area churches, businesses, civic clubs and individual supporters are necessary for operations at current levels. There is no charge for the meals provided. More than 90 percent of the money received by Meals on Wheels is used to purchase food. The remainder is spent primarily to maintain refrigeration or freezer equipment, or pay administrative expenses like accounting reviews, tax form preparation etc.

Meals are delivered to qualified residents in Kingsport, Bloomingdale and Lynn Garden. To be considered a qualified recipient, an applicant must generally have a written recommendation from their attending physician, and be in a situation where they cannot, on their own, prepare a daily nutritional meal.

Volunteer Needs: MOW is made up of "neighbors helping neighbors" and each volunteer is important. It takes 30-35 volunteers each day to cook and deliver meals. In any given year, over 500 individuals help in the MOW program. Volunteers serve on cooking teams, driving teams, order food, stock the pantry, prepare driving instructions to recipients’ homes, do home visits to determine recipient eligibility, and perform a number of other activities necessary to keep Meals on Wheels operating. Most of the volunteer activities, like serving on a cooking team or a driving team, is a once-per-month commitment of time requiring about 2-2 1/2 hours. However, a number of volunteers serve more frequently and in different capacities because of the satisfaction they receive from MOW work.

Contact Information: If you are interested in volunteering with MOW, please call 423-247-4511.

If you are unable to assist with cooking or driving, but would like to support MOW with a monetary contribution, the address is:
Meals on Wheels, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport, TN 37660.
Phone: 423-247-4511

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