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Meals on Wheels Selected as MCTV Wayne County November Organization of the Month

MOWSW LogoAbout MCTV's Organization of the Month

Charitable behavior can lead to psychological, spiritual, and emotional well-being benefits for the giver. Besides helping the community and being a part of a greater good, charitable donations are tax deductible, can give you a sense of purpose and can help keep you informed about issues of social injustice. Each month, MCTV highlights two local non-profit organizations. We have donation boxes set up in our lobbies and have information on our websites about each charity, along with links to their respective websites. MCTV’s commitment to charitable causes creates new ways for you to find, learn about, and support local charities. We try to make a bigger difference in the causes you care about the most and become partners with the organizations in order to bring about change. Donate with confidence to these organizations. They are low-risk organizations, have targeted goals, function with good governance and have transparency policies. To learn more, visit our community involvement page.

About Meals On Wheels

Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties is a community service providing meals in a social or home setting, to assist individuals in remaining healthy, active, and independent of extended care facilities.

Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties is a nonprofit organization that has been serving homebound and nutritionally at risk individuals across the two-county area located in Northeast Ohio for 41 years. The agency was established in 1973 as a senior meal program called The Stark Nutrition Program. We were initially a direct service of United Way of Central Stark County and became an independent agency in 1991.

Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties started as a catered company serving 435 seniors per day through satellite nutrition sites in Stark & Wayne counties. In 1997 the agency expanded and completed its own commissary, unique to this area and specifically designed to meet our community’s needs. The menu is planned by our staff dietitian and prepared by staff professionals, meeting and exceeding all guidelines recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Over 11 million meals have been prepared and delivered to clients by thousands of community volunteers over the past 41 years. Today, the agency serves 1,300 meals daily, Monday through Friday, including home delivered and congregate dining at 15 of our sites. Volunteers from the community deliver meals throughout the two-county area via 18 distribution sites, covering 60 routes every weekday.

Meals On Wheels provides much more than a hot meal. With over 600 volunteers donating their time every week, we are often a homebound client’s only daily contact, so we try to address any concerns immediately brought to our attention or to the attention of the closest family member or emergency contact. Lives have been saved because of the quick response of dedicated volunteers and staff. We offer peace of mind, as well as nutritional support

Despite the financial difficulties that the agency has endured due to cuts in federal and state funding programs, Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties has continued its mission of providing meals for our neighbors in need. During fiscal year 2013, over 600 volunteers donated 56,300 hours and delivered 294,952 meals to the homebound clients in need. We also provided 45,990 congregate meals at our various sites through two counties. Continuous increases to our biggest necessities, food and fuel, have resulted in a negative effect on our operating budget. Pro-active decisions have been made so as to continue providing services to as many clients as possible, including staff reductions and site closings. We have also had our second annual fundraising dinner and auction and are constantly seeking grant support for the benefit of our clients.

Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties has served as the pilot agency for several national programs, including Community Connections: Moving Seniors Toward Wellness, a cooperative agreement between MOWAA and the U.S. Administration on Aging as well as the MOWAA adopted March for Meals program.

As we celebrate our 41th anniversary of tackling hunger in the community, Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties’ primary focus is to provide nutritional support to the homebound, elderly, and disabled while keeping an eye on the growing need in our community to do even more. The need to help clients continues to grow, regardless of increased costs or decreases in funding. We are poised on the edge of an exciting future, which includes offering services to those under the age of 60 that are struggling with the recent economic hardships, leaving them homebound and in need of nutritional support, and working more closely with the medical community to support their goals of lowering hospital re-admission rates caused by lack of nutritional support at home. As a successful community based organization, we continue to seek opportunities designed to help us assist those people in our community with the greatest need, the hidden hungry.

Who We Serve

Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties provides home delivered meals to  over 1,000 people who are homebound due to age, illness, or disability in the two county area. Our clients are individuals of any age who are unable to make or access their own meals for any of the following reasons:

  • Persons with disabilities
  • Persons who are ill or convalescing
  • Persons who lack the resources to prepare adequate meals
  • Persons who are in frail health due to nutritional or health-related instability

Many people depend on the service long term, while others need the service temporarily as they recover from a hospital stay, injury, or illness. Doctors and other health-care professionals often refer patients to us for short-term meal delivery. Our social services team works with those patients to provide a personal assessment of their nutritional needs. Many people use our home delivered meal service as respite for a caregiver. Our clients have included elderly people who are no longer able to cook for themselves, to younger folks with long-term disabilities, to bedridden women undergoing high-risk pregnancies.

What We Serve

We don’t just deliver nutritious meals…. We deliver smiles and peace of mind!
Clients of Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties have the choice to receive a hot lunch, a sack supper, breakfast, and frozen meals. All meals are low sodium and low fat. We accommodate diabetic diets and those with other special dietary needs. Pureed and chopped meals are available as well as liquid supplements (which require a physician’s referral)

The visits by friendly volunteers also provide a daily check on the client’s well-being. This can prove to be very helpful to caregivers and children of aging parents who need assistance in not only feeding their loved ones, but also ensuring they are healthy and mobile during the day.

Where and When We Serve 

Meals are served from our 18 satellite nutrition sites located across Stark & Wayne Counties. Meals are delivered weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and clients are required to be home at the time of delivery.

What It Costs

The cost per meal is $5. Some participants may qualify for assistance. If the applicant is not able to afford the full, suggested amount, our staff member will explain available options.

Congregate Dining

Our Congregate Dining program provides a hot, well-balanced meal, along with social interaction—an important factor in helping people enjoy life and maintain a positive mental outlook. Congregate Dining is available at 13 of our sites in the two-county area. It is funded in part through the Older Americans Act and provides individuals 60 and older the opportunity to enjoy a hot, nutritionally balanced meal for a suggested donation of $3.00. Guests under the age of 60 may dine for a fee of $6.00.

Meals are served Monday through Friday at 11:45 a.m., and reservations are required.

How Do I Get Started? For more information or to begin service, contact our Social Services department at 330-832-7220 or 800-466-8010, between 8 a.m. and 3:30p.m., Monday through Friday. Once we have a new client’s information, delivery can typically begin within two business days.

Costs & Funding Options

Our Social Services staff assists all clients with their individual needs based on a personal interview and assessment: 

Private Pay: Full cost of a meal is $5.  Initial contract for services is two weeks, with a minimum delivery of three times a week.  Private pay clients are those that do not qualify for alternative program funding. 

Title IIIC Funding: Provided through the Older Americans Act and distributed through the Area Agency on Aging.  Qualifying individuals must be over the age of 60 and meet specific guidelines measured by an assessment visit by the Social Service department of MOW.  The qualifying individual must be truly homebound – either living alone, with a disabled spouse, unable to get out without assistance or be unable to prepare their own meals.  This is a donation-based program. 

Community Home Delivered Program (CHD): Sliding scale fee available for those meeting agency criteria. Financial status considered. 

Waiver/Medicaid:  Clients are assigned to MOW through their case manager.  A Medicaid program used to fund meals for clients under the age of 60.  Referrals are made through the Department of Human Services. 

Care Coordination: These clients are assigned to MOW through their case manager at the Area Agency on Aging. They receive multiple home/help/health services and require nutritional support. The Area Agency on Aging contracts with our program to service these clients. We receive as well as make referrals to this program. 

Passport: These clients are assigned to us through their case manager at the Area Agency on Aging. These individuals require numerous home services and require nutritional support. We receive, as well as make referrals to this program. The Area Agency on Aging contracts with our program to serve these clients. 

Food stamps and the Ohio Directions Card are welcome, and gift certificates are available any time of the year. For more information call 330-832-7220 or 800-466-8010.

Wheels for Wags Program

The Wheels for Wags Program was originated in 2007 by Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties when volunteers noted that many of our clients were feeding their pets from their own meals. This situation was not healthy for our clients or their animal friends and actions were taken to start collecting pet food to distribute to our clients for their pets.

The goal of Wheels for Wags is to keep our clients together and happy with their pets by providing companion animals with healthy and nutritious food. Clients of Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties are homebound and unable to access food for their beloved pets due to age, frailty, disability, or illness. Instead of sharing their meals with their animals, Wheels for Wags ensures that pet food is provided so that the owner doesn’t need to worry about how to obtain or afford nutritious food for a pet that may be their only companion.

Since the program began, we have delivered more than 24 TONS of pet food to our community. The current program feeds approximately 400 pets per week, delivering approximately 3,000 pounds of pet food per month to homebound seniors and disabled clients. A dedicated group of approximately 350 volunteers works to package and deliver food to 18 satellite nutrition sites for distribution across a two-county service area. Wheels for Wags is free and offered exclusively to program participants of Meals on Wheels. If you are an existing Meals on Wheels client and are interested in signing up for the Wheels for Wags program, simply ask your volunteer when they deliver your meal, or contact our office at 330.832.7220.

We are always accepting donations for more dog and cat food for our client’s pets. If you are interested, please email Melissa Coultas, Marketing Manager at coultas@mow-starkwayne.org to make arrangements.


Volunteering with Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties takes a small amount of time, but makes a big difference in the lives of our homebound neighbors.

Every weekday, volunteer drivers cover more than 60 routes in our two-county area. Deliveries take place Monday through Friday (except holidays). Volunteers arrive at our sites around 10:30, and meals are ready to go out at 10:45. A typical route takes about an hour to complete, with some rural routes lasting 75 to 90 minutes. We provide training and mileage reimbursement, and offer complete, stop-by-stop directions—updated daily—in a handy, compact route book.

Most volunteers serve once a week, but others drive every other week, or even once a month. We are grateful for the help and happy to accommodate individual schedules.

In addition to delivering nutritious meals, volunteers also provide peace of mind. They are often the only people our clients see during the day. If they observe emergency situations or potential health hazards, they call our office so we can notify family or other emergency contacts. Lives have been saved because of the quick and caring response of MOW volunteers and staff.

Corporate Volunteering

Many companies and organizations participate in our Adopt-A-Route Program. They select a route at a site near them, on a preferred day of the week, and agree to cover that route on a regular schedule—weekly, biweekly or monthly. They then solicit staff members to take turns delivering meals on a rotating basis. Participating organizations find it’s a great way to build teamwork and camaraderie, while instilling a sense of pride among their staff through community service.

It’s easy to get started! Contact our volunteer coordinator by email: cattarin@mow-starkwayne.org or by phone at 330-832-7220 or 1-800-466-8010.


Our fundraising efforts focus on raising money to support our clients who are unable to pay the partial or total cost of their meal assistance. Government meal subsidies that help to cover the portion of the cost of meals are remaining stagnant, or due to the recent sequester, are decreasing. For this reason, Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties must subsidize the cost of each meal we prepare so that the most vulnerable of our community; the elderly, sick, and disabled, do not go hungry.

Donations are important to our mission and are tax deductible. Your gift will make a difference! There are several ways individuals, charitable groups, and corporations can make a contribution to Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties.   

*Approximately 84-85 cents of every dollar you give to Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties, is used to underwrite the cost of meals provided to the hidden hungry in Stark and Wayne counties. The 15-16 cents that Meals on Wheels uses for administration allows qualified professionals to keep an eye on “the big picture,” ensuring that we are meeting our mission, maximizing our funding and human resources, and operating in a manner that is not only efficient, but effective. We pride ourselves in being accountable and transparent through good governance, and have earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.  

The Main Event

“Stomp Out Hunger”
November 13, 2015

On November 13th, 2015 we will be holding our fourth annual “Main Event” fundraiser at the Alex D. Krassas Event Center in Canton. This wine-themed event “Stomp Out Hunger” is scheduled from 6pm-10pm. Planning is in full swing to exceed our goal of $135,000 to fund Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties.


Meals On Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties
2363 Nave Street SE
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 832-7220 / 800-466-8010