Meal on Wheels has been a very successful program for aging Americans. As the baby boomers grow in numbers, resources diminish and means to support the program gets more difficult to manage, the services will be less stable. Nonprofits can only do as much as is donated, in terms of food, volunteers, transportation and program facilitators.
There will always be money for those who push hard for the resources and the lobbying effort will need to continue for this popular service for the older population, who have difficulty getting food. But eventually priorities will need to be set for which programs meet the most needs at the lowest cost, for survival.
You have asked for a professional opinion on the impact, challenges and future of the Meals on Wheels (MoW) program in North America.
1. Impact of the program:
Your original information does not really describe any kind of impact the MoW program has had on the lives of seniors. I work in community geriatrics and have seen first hand how this helps isolated seniors with limited mobility and ability to cook. The program has helped maintain a good nutritional balance for seniors who might otherwise have been existing on tea and toast due to their own inability to prepare their own meals (due to cognition or physical limitations). Most MoW programs must meet nutritional requirements of their local authority (Health Canada and the Canada food guide for example). In addition the hot meal service is quite valuable to seniors who are not able to use their stove/ovens anymore. But probably the biggest impact is that MoW helps maintain seniors living in their own homes. This is what they want, what their families want and what the health care system wants. The longer a senior is able to be cared for/maintained at home, the greater their quality of life and satisfaction, and ...
This solution provides a professional opinion on the impact, challenges and future of the Meals on Wheels (MoW) program in North America.