Hi! This is Erin again. I wanted to go a little more in depth with Longmont Meals on Wheels. I spoke with Katie Wiser, Development Coordinator with Longmont Meals on Wheels.
Longmont Meals on Wheels, is a non-profit organization that provides elderly, people with disabilities and people returning from a hospital stay with proper, affordable nutrition in their homes and at the Senior Center. They do not have a wait list, nor is proof of income needed to have meals delivered. Meals are delivered around lunch time Monday through Friday. Home delivery accounts for about 80% of all the meals that are prepared. In 2016 they served over 107,000 meals!
Meals are prepared fresh every day by an in house chef and two assistants. The meals are nutritionally balanced and on a 90 day calendar. They are held to the same standards as a restaurant kitchen and are subject to the Boulder County Health Department. The kitchen is also equipped to handle special dietary needs as well. Low sodium, diabetes, food allergies are just a few of the special needs that they can handle.
I asked Katie some of the biggest misconceptions about Meals on Wheels. She said the biggest was the quality of food. Because they receive no government funding (federal or state) they have fewer restrictions and can offer food that isn’t institutional tasting.
Funding was the second biggest misconception Katie mentioned. While there is a national Meals on Wheels organization, each is independent. They receive no government funding. Longmont Meals on Wheels relies on local donations now and always!
I asked Katie if they had any other programs than the daily meals. I was surprised to learn that they did offer quite a few. One is called Project Homecoming. This is open to anyone who is coming home from the hospital or outpatient care. LMOW will deliver 5 free meals as people transition back from a hospital stay. They offer a free Lockbox Program to Longmont residents 65 and older, those with disabilities or who suffer from a major medical issue at any age. They will also provide an Emergency Food bag which contains three days worth a food. A lot of these went out during the 2013 Flood. The last program Katie talked about was their Holiday Basket. This contains enough food for two people and a gift card to pick out their own protein.
My next question related back to funding. If LMOW doesn’t receive any government funding, then how do they get the funds needed to operate. Their biggest fundraiser is the Longmont Christmas Home Tour. It is the oldest and largest in the state. 4 homes are decorated for Christmas and visitors have the opportunity to purchase the decorations. Homes that are apart of the tour are announced in October, so check back for that! This year’s Home Tour will run November 30- December 2. We will post more details as the become available.
LMOW had a new fundraiser this year called Tablescapes. Different business and organizations decorated tables that were raffled off! We had a great time at this event!
Longmont Meals on Wheels is a great asset to this community and we are proud to partner with them. Thank you for all you do!