Our mission is…
We are dedicated to providing quality nutrition services in a supportive environment to promote the health and independence of older adults. This mission is accomplished through our 3 programs listed below.
Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered, nutritionally balanced meals that are delivered to seniors in Kent and Allegan counties. These meals are prepared locally in our central kitchen. In addition to a nutritious meal, our drivers are delivering a much-needed safety check and a smiling face. In 2018, we served 2,969 homebound seniors 572,003 meals.
Senior Pantry services are provided to low income Kent County residents. Seniors can shop up to twice per month and may select from a wide variety of foods that are available from all food groups. Each month, seniors can save up to $100-$120 on groceries, freeing up needed dollars for medication and heating. Each year our pantries distribute over a million pounds of food! In 2018, we served 2,082 seniors and had 22,235 visits.
Senior Dining Sites provide meals at 19 locations throughout Kent and Allegan counties. Older adults are provided with a nutritious lunch in a group setting. The focus for this program is on providing social engagement, which may include exercise, games, or simply companionship, in addition to a meal. In 2018, we served 105,810 meals to 1,774 seniors.
A little history…
Meals on Wheels Western Michigan was incorporated as a 501c(3) independent agency in 1984. Since founded, MOWWM has gone through a series of name changes. Having originally been known as Senior Meals Program, Inc., the organization rebranded in 2013 to Senior Meals on Wheels Program. As of May 25th, 2016, we are now known as Meals on Wheels Western Michigan, or MOWWM for short.
Our program was facilitated by Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan until Dolores Valentine was announced the first Executive Director. The first location of MOWWM was on Two Fountain Place in Grand Rapids. In 1992, MOWWM moved to Cedar Street, where we remained for 18 years until finally moving to our current location on Wilson Avenue in Grandville.
Over the years, many changes were made to MOWWM, largely due to the growing need. In 1984, 975 seniors were receiving meals delivered to their home, in comparison to 2017 when more than 2,970 seniors received meals. Beginning in 1984, MOWWM only offered congregate (dining) meals and home-delivered meals. It was not until the year 2000 that pantry services were implemented. At the time, they were located off of Madison Avenue, until moving for additional space on Wealthy Street. Today, our main pantry is located in Grand Rapids near the intersection of Fuller Avenue and Knapp Street.
MOWWM has been blessed to be supported by such an incredible base of volunteers and donors who share our passion for making a difference! We are able to efficiently serve the growing senior population thanks to donations from the public, the Kent County Senior Millage, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, the City of Wyoming, and the Heart of West Michigan United Way.