Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that serves the residents of Tarrant County, Texas. In 1973, a collaboration of eleven faith-based organizations in downtown Fort Worth began providing food to elderly residents in the central city. In 1977, that group incorporated as Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County, which now serves over 5,000 clients throughout Tarrant County and provides nearly 1 million nutritious meals per year. Our mission is “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.” Home-delivered meals are available to those who are homebound for any length of time, are physically or mentally unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves, and have no one to help them on a regular basis. There are no age or income restrictions and no one is ever approved or denied services based on their ability to make a voluntary contribution toward the cost of the services that they receive. Meals are delivered by caring volunteers, who are trained to contact our office if a client does not answer the door. This daily safety check gives our clients and their families an added peace of mind. Without these services, many of our clients would be forced into expensive nursing homes or other taxpayer-funded care facilities. Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County helps improve the quality of life for our homebound elderly and disabled clients, allowing them to maintain their independence in their own home.
▲ Back to Top
Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County provides the following programs and services in order to meet the nutritional, health and safety needs of our clients:
- Home-Delivered Meals Program
Through our Home-Delivered Meals program, we provide fresh, nutritionally-balanced meals to homebound, elderly and disabled residents of Tarrant County. Our menus are planned by registered dietitians, who are committed to providing clients with a delicious and nutritious meal. Our meals are guaranteed to meet at least one-third of the daily dietary standards established by the U.S. Government.Meals are cooked and packaged in our central kitchen each weekday to ensure quality, consistency, and cost effectiveness. Meals are staged in 45 distribution sites around the county to make it easy for volunteers to pick up meals at a location that is convenient to their meal-delivery route. Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County is one of only a few home-delivered meal providers to offer clients a choice between two entrées and four beverages for the noon meal. Giving clients a choice of what they want to eat increases the likelihood that clients will enjoy their meal and consume all of it, giving them the full nutritional benefit of the meal.
▲ Back to Top
- Meal-delivery Volunteers
Meals are delivered by 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.It takes just one hour, one day per week, Monday – Friday, to make a difference in the lives of our homebound, elderly and disabled clients in a neighborhood near you. Meals are picked up between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. After pickup, it takes approximately one hour to deliver meals to 10-15 clients in close proximity. Volunteering with Meals On Wheels is a way to extend a compassionate hand to those in need.
- Case Management
Each potential client is assigned to a professional case manager who conducts an initial phone interview to assess their individual needs and ensure eligibility. Those who meet the basic eligibility criteria are scheduled for an in-depth, in-home evaluation. Meals usually begin within 3-5 days of initial call.Case managers make in-home, follow-up visits every 90 days to update the client’s status and determine if the client’s needs are being met. This is our opportunity to gauge physical and cognitive improvement or decline. Case managers also advocate for the client with other resources and service providers in the community.
▲ Back to Top
- Client Services Program
Through the Client Services program, we help our clients maintain their independence at home in a safe and healthy environment by partnering with professional contractors, handyman volunteers, and faith-based and civic organizations who donate their time and skills to make repairs. Projects range from minor repairs to electric, plumbing, HVAC, and construction to installing grab bars and fixing leaky faucets to group projects such as clearing overgrown yards.The Client Services program is funded independently of the Home-Delivered Meals program. Consequently, we rely on local vendors and businesses to provide assistance on a pro-bono basis. These services would not be available without the support of volunteers. Their time can make a huge difference to a homebound, elderly or disabled person.
- Companion Pet Meals Program
Years ago, we learned that an alarming number of our elderly and disabled clients were not eating all of their nutritious meal, but actually sharing it with their pets! This is a real problem for clients who live on a minimal income and desperately need the full nutritional benefit of our meals, not to mention the fact that our meals are not always healthy for animals. Clients who have difficulty adequately feeding their cat or dog may receive supplemental pet food at no charge.Companion pets are an important component of our clients’ mental health. Senior isolation is a big problem in the United States. Over half of our clients never or rarely have visitors other than their meal-delivery volunteer. In these cases, a beloved pet provides that much-needed companionship.
▲ Back to Top
- HAIL Program: Healthy Aging and Independent Living – Diabetes and Nutrition Counseling
Through the HAIL program, we aim to keep people healthy at home and reduce preventable hospitalizations and emergency room visits, ultimately saving valuable taxpayer dollars. Clients must be age 35 years or older and have either a diagnosis of diabetes or be at risk of developing the disease, or be at increased nutritional risk.Registered dietitians make in-home visits to conduct a full nutritional assessment and provide nutrition education to each client. The dietitian works with the client to set behavioral goals that are designed to improve the client’s health. Clients receive follow-up phone calls to encourage them to continue to meet the established behavioral goals and answer any questions about nutrition education.
Independent program evaluators found a 42% reduction in hospital stays among HAIL program participants, potentially saving Tarrant County taxpayers millions of dollars annually.
- HomeMeds program: A medication-management program
The HomeMeds program was established to prevent falls and hospitalization due to medication errors and adverse drug effects among older adults. The risks for severe reactions and interactions, medication errors, and medication duplications are found at an alarming rate among the senior population. This program saves lives and health care dollars by identifying serious drug reactions, and helps eliminate the need for our clients to visit hospitals because of problems with their medication.All prescriptions, vitamins, and herbal supplements are reviewed to identify any medication errors or adverse drug effects. These findings are then discussed with the client. This program is especially beneficial to people who:
- Go to multiple doctors or pharmacies
- Take over-the-counter medications
- Have recently experienced falls, dizziness, or confusion
- Have recently been to the hospital
- Feel overwhelmed with obtaining or taking their medications.
- 1 million — Approximate number of meals delivered each year in Tarrant County
- 3,700 — Average number of meals delivered each weekday in Tarrant County
- 2,300 — Average number of active clients per day in Tarrant County
- 65% — Anglo
- 22% — African American
- 10% — Hispanic
- 2% — Asian
- 1% — Other
- 64% — Female
- 36% — Male
- Median Client Monthly Income: $1,000
- Average length of time a client receives services from Meals On Wheels: 11 months
- Client Ages
- 20-29 — 0.22%
- 30-39 — 0.60%
- 40-49 — 2.98%
- 50-59 — 10.75%
- 60-69 — 21.90%
- 70-79 — 26.21%
- 80-89 — 27.44%
- 90-99 — 9.66%
- 100+ — 0.26%
Cost of Providing Meals for One Year
Meals on Wheels is able to feed a senior for an entire year for the equivalent cost of one day in a hospital or 10 days in a nursing home. $1,690 will provide nutritious, home-delivered meals to a client in need for a full year.
▲ Back to Top
Agency Financial Information
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County is a local, independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The agency works hard to be a good steward of the financial resources that are entrusted to us. As a result, 86 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to providing services for those in need, and 100% of the money raised stays right here in Tarrant County.
In fiscal year 2016, Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County expenses for the year were $6,651,669. We do take advantage of government funding sources that are available to us, but half of our funding comes from community contributions.
- Texas Department of Agriculture — 13%
- Community and Fundraising — 35%
- United Way — 8%
- DADS and Managed Care — 8%
- Fort Worth/Arlington/Keller CDBG — 2%
- Tarrant County — 1%
- Client Voluntary Contributions — 4%
- Area Agency on Aging — 20%
- Foundations — 9%
▲ Back to Top
The Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County Endowment Fund was established in 1997 to ensure the sustainability of our Home-Delivered Meals program. The Endowment Fund is governed by a separate Board of Trustees. Each year, the Trustees gift a portion of the accrued interest to Meals On Wheels to benefit the Home-Delivered Meals program.
▲ Back to Top
Meals On Wheels Legacy Society
Members of the Legacy Society share a strong bond of generosity that nourishes the soul and improves the quality of life for homebound elderly and disabled residents of Tarrant County. The Legacy Society recognizes individuals who include Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County in their will or estate planning
▲ Back to Top
Another meaningful way for individuals or organizations to make a difference in the lives of our homebound elderly and disabled residents for many years to come is to established a named fund.
- A one-time gift of $24,000 will establish a named Fund-a-Meal-Forever Fund that will provide meals for one client forever!
- A one-time gift of $5,000 will establish a named fund that will provide 50 meals per year in perpetuity!
You may choose between several options to establish a fund in your name or the name of a loved one that will provide meals forever. Please call us for the appropriate Tax ID number so that your gift is directed to Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County Endowment Fund.