Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization that started in 1973 as a collaboration between 11 faith-based organizations in downtown Fort Worth to bring food to the elderly in the central city area. Over the years, we have grown and now serve all of Tarrant County, providing approximately 1 million meals each year to some of Tarrant County’s most frail citizens. By providing home-delivered meals, professional case management, and other needed items or services to our homebound, elderly and disabled clients, we enable them to remain living independently in their own homes, surrounded by a lifetime of memories.
Most of our clients have lived in the same home for many years. This home is where they feel safe and comfortable. Due to illness or the blessing of many birthdays, the majority of our clients can no longer remain at home without assistance. Without our help, many of our clients would be forced into nursing homes or other care facilities. Our goal is to keep our clients in their homes – where they want to be – for as long as possible.
Some people may be recovering from a hospital stay or illness and will only be on the program for a short period of time. Others have a long-term need and may receive home-delivered meals on an ongoing basis.
In an independent study of hunger among the elderly in the United States, Texas ranked fourth highest in the number of seniors going to bed hungry. We can deliver meals to one homebound person for an entire year at a cost lower than one day in a hospital or six days in a nursing home. Plus, through our Home-Delivered Meals program, we save money for taxpayers, who subsidize the cost of nursing home care for those who cannot afford it. Another study by the Center for Effective Government found that every dollar invested in Meals On Wheels saves up to $50 in Medicaid spending.
Meals are delivered by over 5,000 caring volunteers who freely give of their time and personal resources to ensure that our clients receive a nutritious meal. These caring individuals do more than just provide a meal and a friendly home visit. They are trained to contact our office if a client does not answer the door. This daily safety check gives many of our clients and their families an added peace of mind.
To promote the dignity and independence of older adults, persons with disabilities, and other homebound persons by delivering nutritious meals and providing or coordinating needed services.
From humble beginnings to a benchmark program that now serves approximately 1 million meals per year, Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County is an immense source of pride for the citizens of Tarrant County. Despite our tremendous growth, our commitment to helping the homebound, elderly and disabled residents of Tarrant County remain in their own homes will never change.
In 1972, representatives from 11 downtown Fort Worth faith-based organizations met to discuss hunger in the central city. These organizations included Broadway Baptist, Central Baptist, Greater St. James Baptist, Mt. Gilead Baptist, First Christian, First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Gethsemane Presbyterian, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Temple Beth-El. From this meeting, the Association of Central City Ministries (ACCM) was formed. Its first concern was providing meals to the elderly. ACCM made the commitment to bring food to the elderly in the central city area and on May 15, 1973, Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County was begun using all volunteer help. On that day, 25 people were fed. Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County owes a debt of gratitude to the members of ACCM and the many volunteers from these organizations who worked so diligently to make it a success. These wonderful faith-based organizations continue to support Meals On Wheels as we serve those in need within our community.
In 1989, Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County turned to the community to ask for help to fund a central kitchen. Rapidly escalating costs from food service companies as well as limited control of the final product compelled us to seek our own meal-preparation facility. Within eight months, an existing building was purchased and renovated into both the central kitchen and administrative offices. Although the building was expanded a number of times over the years, in 2010, the Board of Directors decided the best course of action was to construct a new meal-production facility that could meet the ever-increasing demand for services.
In January 2015, we embarked on an exciting new chapter in the history of Meals On Wheels as we broke ground on a new 62,000-square-foot meal production and distribution facility. We relocated to the new facility in March 2016. The current building, located at 5740 Airport Freeway in Haltom City, now houses the central kitchen, volunteer training center, nutrition intern project center, storage and distribution center, meeting space, and administrative offices.
This new facility will enable Meals On Wheels to meet the current demand for 1 million meals per year as well as the tremendous growth expected as Baby Boomers enter retirement. Much has changed since 1972; however, the original commitment to serve elderly and disabled people will never change. With your assistance, we are helping this frail segment of our community to remain living at home by providing meals, needed services, and a caring smile.
- Median age: 74.7 years
- 84% of clients are over the age of 60
- 64% of clients are female
- Median client monthly income: $1,000
- Meals served to minority clients: 36%
- Average length of time a client remains on the Home-Delivered Meals program: 11 months