Seal The Deals For Hot Meals On Wheels

amealWhen Central District Health Department officials announced last week they were getting out of the “meals on wheels” program to provide a hot meal a day to needy folks, we didn’t respond because it was a sure bet good Boise people would step up.

We won the bet when Life’s Kitchen, a do gooder outift that trains aspiring food service workers, announced they would try to prepare the 600 meals a day for the needy. That still leaves the logistics of delivery unsolved at present.

The GUARDIAN talked to the folks at the ACHD commuter van pool–a ready source of publicly owned vans parked around town during the day while riders and drivers are at work. They say it is possible some vans could be made available to deliver meals–probably at a per mile basis to offset costs.

The van coordinator told us there were concerns about insurance and qualified volunteer drivers, but the issues were not insurmountable.

Seems like the fed money for the meals on wheels could go to Life’s Kitchen, volunteers–including good people receiving unemployment–could drive the government owned vans and hot meals would reach those who need them.

As the hard times continue, we all need to take care of each other with cash and the talents we have at hand. Life’s Kitchen is eager to make it all happen, ACHD is open minded. We just need some intelligent GUARDIAN readers to do their magic with the internet and help coordinate the effort.

–Give the do gooders some URLs about other programs.
–Be a do gooder yourself and offer to drive whatever rigs they come up with.
–If you are in government, give us some agency guidance so Life’s Kitchen is able to get the support they need and ACHD will be legal sharing the transportation.

The GUARDIAN may not have the answers, but our readers sure do. Bring it on!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I may be wrong about this – but isn’t the current network of drivers delivering meals simply community volunteers utilizing their own private vehicles? Couldn’t that same structure/network of drivers be transferred over to the new provider and off you go? Why start from scratch with a new approach? Not being a naysayer just wondering, and more than willing to help find a solution.

    EDITOR NOTE–The photo of the van in the photo was made in Boise. Agreed the drivers could easily be shifted. Don’t know if they use their own cars.

  2. Tom Anderson
    Apr 7, 2009, 8:56 am

    This project is a loser because it is dependant on cheap oil. The world’s energy experts are predicting another oil price spike that could occur this year and soar past $500 per barrel this time around.

    Meals on Wheels needs to morph into “fix dinner for your elderly or incapacitated neighbor and get a direct subsidy from the local government payable within a months time.”

    We need to keep the Meals, but get rid of the Wheels.

  3. Reprinted on The Boise Picayune, and I will do my guerrilla best to spread the word.

    From the Department of Full Disclosure: Mike Murphy = The Boise Picayune = Mike Murphy for Mayor

  4. Tom what a total loser comment you just made. Come on dude put your thinking cap on and let’s help fix this problem and continue to provide a much needed community service. a fairyland dream world ever senior citizen would live next door to a benavolent friend who could fix them meals. Unti then (which will be forever) this program is a great solution.

  5. The Guardian and some of the mainstream media are a little ahead of the actual facts of this story.

    Meals On Wheels and the meals served at Senior Centers in Ada and Elmore counties are done so under contract with the Southwest Idaho Area Agency on Aging (Area III.) Central District Health is getting out of the business because the agency’s subsidy of the program has continued to increase as the grant dollars from Area III shrink. CDHD’s subsidy of the program is about $215,000 a year for both programs (Meals On Wheels and congregate dining.)

    To date no other agency has been offered a contract to pick up where CDHD is leaving off. Conversations have been held with representatives of Life’s Kitchen, but the deal is far from being made. For clarification interested/concerned citizens should contact Area III’s Director Lori Brelia at 322-7033 Ext 250 to establish the current status on identifying one or more new contractors.

    CDHD has offered to assist in every way possible to insure a smooth transition so that no senior goes without a meal. That offer of assistance includes sharing its list of dedicated volunteers who use their own vehicles to deliver the meals to homebound seniors.
    There is no reason to reinvent the system of delivery, in fact one of the employees who will be laid off has years of expertise in recruiting volunteers, mapping routes and scheduling deliveries. She would love to be hired by the next contractor.

    With the clock steadily ticking down to the day when CDHD ends its involvement in senior nutrition a solution needs to be found sooner rather than later. We stand ready to help.
    Dave Fotsch
    Public Information Officer
    Central District Health Department

  6. I’m thinking microwave and Le Menu Dinners, Marie Calendars pot pies etc.

    There are two parts to the MOW program. The elderly with nobody around get someone ringing the doorbell and they get a free welfare check as part of the meal delivery.

    Somehow the welfare check deal needs to be worked out like a neighborhood watch deal. Elderly people are prone to falls and may have no way to call for help. Decent nutrition is also a concern.

    It just isn’t any fun getting old.
    A lot of these people need to be relocated into assisted living/group living homes.

    I speak from first hand experience with a parent who died at the age of 92 and would not consider the benifits of being around other people. The last few years drained my father of his dignity and money. Assisted living/group living would have been a really good place to be as the clock ran down on his life.

  7. Hey.
    I’ve got some time and a vehicle. I’d love to participate – bringing a meal to elgible senior citizens despite the hacks at H&W.
    Some of these recipients date back to WWII – veterans who protected not only the United States, but several other nations from tyranny.
    Put me on the list of volunteers!

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