Meals on Wheels for the elderly or handicapped, is a fantastic program.  Do you qualify for the program?  How do you apply?  How can I volunteer?  In this article, I would like to answer all of those questions for you, so you can apply for assistance with food, help out others, if you so wish, and get something to eat, even if you are diabetic or have other special needs.  The Meals on Wheels programs have been helping to feed the elderly and physically and mentally challenged for many years now and will most likely continue to do so for many more years to come.

How do I Apply for Meals on Wheels?

If you know of someone that needs help with getting a nutritious meal, perhaps because they are not able to cook any longer and are not mobile enough to do much for shopping, you can refer a family member, friend, or loved one to the program for assistance.  So, if someone you know needs that type of help, be sure to refer them, so they can get it.

The best way to apply online is to visit the website.  You can ask for assistance and see if the actual program is running in your area.  If there is no local program for the elderly listed, be sure to read below are there are several other options and alternatives you will want to explore for assistance.  If you are using one of the alternative programs, the best way to find out where they are apply for the help is to call the local Health and Human Services department in your area.

You can refer a friend or family member through the online site.  You can also call them at (612) 613-3363 for any questions and concerns you might have about the program and their restrictions or application process.  You will have to fill out an application form and there is a fee associated with the program.

Do I Qualify for Meals on Wheels?

For the most part, anyone that is unable to provide themselves with a nutritious meal can qualify for the program.  Meals on Wheels for the elderly is there to help out people that need assistance with meeting their basic needs, like eating a good meal.  If you need help with something like this, be sure to visit the site and see if you can get some help.  Realize that it is not free, but there are options available to those that cannot pay and meet certain criteria and income restrictions.  If you cannot pay for the program, be sure to check out alternatives in your area, or apply for free Meals on Wheels.  The program is nonprofit, so it is designed to help out others.

Volunteering Opportunities

The best way to volunteer for Meals on Wheels and similar programs in your area is to sign up to deliver meals to the elderly, disabled, and to anyone that needs help with preparing nutritious food.  If there is not an official program in your area, there are likely several local alternatives that you can volunteer with and help out other in need.

If there is not an official Meals on Wheels program in your area, you can still help out the seniors and needy in your area by delivering food for the local alternatives that are available to you.  Anyone with a working automobile, valid driver’s license, and clean record can qualify for volunteering.

Many times, this type of program qualifies as work for court ordered community service for minor offenders.  If you are ordered to participate in such a program, the local Meals on Wheels program might be an option for you to consider.   Make some calls or speak to your legal advisers to find out if you will be able to participate in something like this and meet your requirements from the courts system.  It is a good option to try out.

Make a Donation

You can make a donation to Meals on Wheels for various amounts.  While they will accept any amount as a goodwill gesture, the typical amounts range from $25 to $500.  The neat thing about donations to this type of program is that you can track where the funds go, if that type of thing is of importance to you.  If not, you can choose not to track the funds and where they go.

The $25 donation will allow you to sponsor a senior citizen and give them one week’s worth of great meals.  A $500 dollar donation would provide food for 20 seniors for a week.  In addition to the cost of meals, there are several other expenses the charity group needs help with, so consider giving to help offset these costs of helping the elderly and disabled with Meals on Wheels.

Alternatives to Meals on Wheels

There are many different viable alternatives to Meals on Wheels where people can find a lot of help.  Since the actual program is very restricted from a geographic standpoint, there are many suitable alternatives likely to be available in your area.  In this list below, I will go over some of the viable alternatives you have.

Similar Local Programs:  The Health and Human Services Department in your area likely has several different local programs that are very similar.  Some of the program alternatives are free.  Make a phone call and find out what there is for food delivery programs for elderly, poor, and disabled people in your local area.

Local Food Banks:  While the cooking generally isn’t done for you, you can get several easy to make meals from local food banks.  Many areas have very limited financial restrictions for using their food banks and some have none at all.  Check to find the locations in your area.

Church Groups:  Many local church groups offer similar programs that are available in local areas.  Catholic Charities, for example, are well-known for providing assistance to the elderly and less fortunate.  It is a good alternative to Meals on Wheels for the elderly.