The Yolo County Elderly Nutrition Program offers seniors 60 years of age and older (and their spouses, regardless of age) a nutritious hot mid-day meal, Monday-Friday at noon. Meals are are not contingent on financial need and are planned by a registered dietitian and prepared in a central kitchen by an experienced food service team. These meals provide 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for seniors.
Community meals are offered to Davis seniors at the Davis Senior Center, and a home-delivery service (Meals on Wheels) is available for homebound, frail or disabled seniors unable to come to the nutrition site. Volunteer drivers deliver meals to clients on a regular schedule between 11am and 12:30pm weekdays — a frozen meal is offered for legal holidays. Meals on Wheels participants are asked to contribute towards the cost of the meal daily or weekly, though no minimum amount is required and contributions are confidential. To sign up for Meals on Wheels, the senior, a family member or a professional caregiver may apply by calling the main office to complete a 15 minute intake questionaire over the phone during which includes personal contact and health information. A Home Delivery Coordinator will visit the senior at home within 10 days of the start of meal delivery and again every 90 days with a visit or call to update information, re-assess eligibility and provide referrals for other services that may be needed.
Volunteers are needed to deliver lunchtime meals to home-bound seniors between 10:45am and noon as well as on-call drivers and runners for all routes weekdays — these positions are for volunteers who can commit to once a week, twice a month, or occasional substitutes. Other positions include kitchen & community meal staff, auto maintenance for agency vehicles, and special project assistance such as holiday gift assembly or handyman projects. The program relies on almost 400 volunteers annually to perform the many duties needed to efficiently operate each site in a cost effective manner.
The Elderly Nutrition Program is operated by People Resources, Inc. [40 North East Street, Suite C . Woodland, CA] and receives funds from Title III of the Older Americans Act through the Area 4 Agency on Aging, & USDA. Funds are also received from Community Development Block Grants through Yolo County and the cities of Woodland and Davis, Participant Donations, Private and Corporate Donations, three annual fundraisers through Friends of Meals on Wheels and Catering Jobs. Government funding has remained the same or decreased over the years, while the number of needy seniors continues to rise. In addition, rising costs for food, food supplies, minimum wage increases, insurance and gas prices have made it more difficult to make ends meet and feed all those that are in need of meals. Donations are appreciated and all donations go directly to the program to meet food costs and maintain service.
The Elderly Nutrition Program in Yolo County, known widely as Meals on Wheels, is a private, non-profit, community benefit organization, that provided over 83,000 meals to 1100 seniors in Davis, Woodland, Winters, West Sacramento, Knights Landing, Esparto, Madison and Yolo last year. The organization serves frail, homebound elders and meals to seniors at senior centers. Meals are planned by a dietitian and meet 1/3 of the daily nutrient requirement for adults. Often, this meal is their only nutritious meal of the day.
However, ENP is more than just a meal program. For many seniors, the 400 volunteer drivers, who deliver meals to their doorsteps, provide their only contact of the day. For others, who need additional help, ENP refers them to vital services and resources. ENP conducts nutritional assessments of each homebound senior four times a year, and offers education in nutrition, falls prevention and emergency preparedness to all seniors.
To provide these critical services to senior citizens, ENP depends on the generosity and support of community members, foundations, businesses and grants from governmental sources, such as an $8,000 federal Community Development Block Grant, administered by the City of Woodland, that funded a portion of the cost of meals for 27 low income seniors in Woodland last year. Less than 30% of ENP’s annual budget comes from governmental sources.
Community members can help reach all the Yolo County seniors who worry where their next meal is coming from. To join the pledge to end senior hunger by the year 2020, by