Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
The Agency is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our commitment to these values is relevant to the people we employee, clients we serve, and volunteers we recruit. Human capital is our most valuable asset.
We embrace and encourage our employees’, clients’, and volunteers’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our constituents unique.
The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and company’s achievement as well. The Agency is committed to taking the following actions in support of an inclusive workplace:
• Provide ongoing education and training to all employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
• Support the creation and operation of a diversity, equity and inclusion council comprising employees from all levels of the company.
• Provide all employees with a safe avenue to voice concerns regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace.
• Support flexible work arrangements that accommodate the different needs of all employees.
• Conduct periodic employee surveys and focus groups to identify the areas where our company supports inclusive practices, as well as where there is room for growth.
The Agency’s diversity initiatives are applicable, but not limited, to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, professional development and training, promotions, transfers, social and recreational programs, layoffs, terminations, and the ongoing development of a work environment built on the premise of gender and diversity equity.
All employees have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. All employees are expected to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during work, at work functions on or off the work site and at all other Agency-sponsored and participative events. All employees are also required to attend and complete annual diversity awareness training to enhance their knowledge to fulfill this responsibility. The Agency will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or any behavior or language that is abusive, offensive, or unwelcome. Employees must report incidents that violate this code of conduct by contacting their manager or Human Resources.
Our Nutrition program is available to Tarrant County residents who meet the eligibility requirements which include being homebound, elderly, disabled, or food insecure. Most referrals for our home-delivered meal plan come through our website or by phone from the individual needing services, a family member, or caretaker. Referrals for the congregate meal plan are normally walk-ins at Adult Activity Centers. There are no fees for our Nutrition program, and we do not approve or deny services based on income. To receive services clients must meet eligibility requirements which include being homebound, elderly, disabled, or food insecure.
The expansion of frozen meals and addition of congregate meals in 2020 increased the availability of nutritious meals and other services to older adults in Tarrant County. The addition of these delivery systems means that older adults who are food insecure but not homebound can receive essential nutrition. Dietitians design menus that are kosher friendly, regularly include vegetarian options, and provide culturally appealing options that appeal to the diversity of the clients we serve.
The Nutrition program is offered throughout Tarrant County with several meal plans to meet the unique needs of the community. Forty percent of our home-delivered meal clients are concentrated in only ten of 80 zip codes in Tarrant County. Neighborhoods in these areas overlap communities identified by the Centers for Disease Controls Social Vulnerability Index as the most vulnerable. These are neighborhoods affected disproportionately by poverty, lack of income, poor health, and transportation barriers. With the average monthly income of our clients being $1,100, 92 % of the individuals served are extremely low income.
The agency has 19 Adult Activity Centers throughout the County at community centers and in other donated space. Centers in zip codes 76134, 76110, and 76013 predominantly reach underserved Vietnamese, Hispanic, and African American older adults. Transportation is available to disadvantaged older adults who would not otherwise have access to a nutritious meal, socialization, and community resources. The agency is exploring opportunities to expand in underserved communities to add new centers this fiscal year, including a venue to serve the LGBTQ+ community of older adults. Programming available at centers include MasterClass, a national streaming platform for continuing education, exercise classes, bingo, and other games and activities.
Spanish and Vietnamese speaking case managers are dedicated to serving clients countywide who do not speak English. The agency also has Spanish speaking dietitians and administrative staff to serve non-English speaking clients. Spanish speaking Marketing and Communications staff make presentations and work with the Hispanic community to increase services.
The agency employs two recruiters dedicated to filling more than 1,500 volunteer opportunities available each week. Volunteer training is available at the Agency corporate office at varying times throughout the month to accommodate diverse schedules. Recruiters provide on-site training for corporate, community, civic, and church groups on-site making training more assessable. Volunteer meal delivery drivers must provide their own transportation and pass a background check. The agency has 44 meal distribution sites located in neighborhoods throughout the county near the clients being served and where volunteers work and live. Volunteers are trained to respect cultural, religious, and political differences when delivering to clients.
No Board member shall be appointed, promoted, removed or in any way favored or discriminated against because of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual preference, transgender status, gender identity or gender expression, political affiliation, or status as a veteran.
The agency makes every effort to increase board diversity. The administrative team strives to identify diverse individuals within the agency’s existing volunteer pool and the community at large to fill board vacancies. Employees are engaged in outside organizations with diverse populations in which we seek to identify potential board members. Staff members participate in Arlington, Fort Worth, Hispanic, and Northeast Chambers of Commerce.
Existing board members make referrals for new board members and are cognizant of our need to have board members who are representative of the community at large.
Race/Ethnic Distribution of Constituents
The table below shows the population of major race/ethnic groups in Tarrant County and the distribution of staff, board members, and clients in those groups. While the agency distribution of Black/African American of the constituents in all three areas are representative of the community at large, other groups are underrepresented.
The Marketing and Communications Department creates outreach efforts that include amplifying Hispanic clients’ voices, providing documents and mailings in Spanish, establishing relationships with community leaders, and creating flexible eligibility requirements for multi-generational households. Efforts are aimed at increasing presence and trust of Meals On Wheels in Hispanic neighborhoods and communities.
|Native American, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander