Nonprofit Profile: Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, not just about food … but wellness

By ROI-NJ Staff
Mercer County | Aug 26, 2019 at 6:00 am
Nonprofit Profile

Origin

In 1973, prompted by a real concern for the problems of hunger and illness in the senior population, the city of Trenton, representatives of the Downtown Cluster of Churches and the Visiting Nurse Association began meeting together to see what they could do to help. On April 2, 1973, with the help of Mercer Hospital, the VNA and Trenton Ecumenical Area Ministry, or TEAM, along with the financial support of churches, service clubs, corporations and individuals, Mobile Meals of Trenton came into existence. The first team of volunteers served four clients.

Mission

Meals on Wheels of Mercer County Inc. is a comprehensive nutrition program committed to providing hot, nutritious meals and related services that are designed to promote the independence, dignity, health and well-being of our homebound participants.

Goals

Our goal is always to never turn anyone away who needs a meal and is homebound. But we also want to be the premier nutrition program in Mercer County by always looking for way to expand our meal offerings to include more special diets. We strive to not only keep seniors alive, but healthy. Our partnership with Rider University has helped us move closer to this goal.

Programs

The primary goal of Meals on Wheels programs is addressing hunger and isolation in the senior population, thereby keeping them in their homes and healthy for as long as possible. We could not achieve this without the help of our caring and committed group of daily volunteers. Sixty-two percent of our seniors live alone and in isolation and 45% of those served are over 80. The daily visit by our caring volunteers makes sure our participants are not only receiving a daily meal, but a daily “well-check” to make sure our homebound are well and thriving in their homes. Allowing for seniors to age in place in their homes with dignity ensures a greater life expectancy.

Achievements

Last year, we served more than 76,000 meals to over 550 individuals. This represents a doubling of our impact from 2015, which is a result of increasing need in the community, and expansion of our coverage area from two municipalities to eight. We have recently partnered with Rider University as our food provider, with a focus on quality and healthier meal options.

Fundraising

Our largest annual fundraising event is during March, when we partner with local restaurants. They pick a day where 10% or more of their proceeds go towards providing meals for our participants. We also participate in a direct mail campaign several times a year.

Benefactors

We currently receive grant funding from several corporations and foundations, as well as the Mercer County Office on Aging. Among our top benefactors are: The David & Marilyn Krupnick Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Munich Re: Insurance Group, Mary G. Roebling Foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Finally

Social isolation is a health indicator. Our daily visit from caring volunteers not only ensures seniors eat for the day, but that they thrive. We even provide pet food for their furry family members. That is why we are “so much more than a meal”! 

In brief

Location: 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing
Serving: Mercer County: Princeton, Lawrence, Ewing, Trenton, Hightstown, East Windsor, West Windsor, parts of Hamilton
Key member: Sasa Olessi Montano, CEO

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Sasa Olessi Montano, CEO, at: ceo@mealsonwheelsmercer.org or 609-695-3483.

ROI-NJ Staff | editorial@roi-nj.com | @ROINJNews