Meals on Wheels of Greenville County will be expanding its services, thanks to a new partnership with Senior Action and the Appalachian Council of Governments.
The partnership, which is the first time these organizations have teamed up, allows Meals on Wheels to serve as the food vendor for senior congregate dining sites throughout Greenville County. The organization will also provide food for Senior Action’s home-delivered meal clients.
“It is expanding our footprint in the community,” said Catriona Carlisle, executive director of Meals on Wheels Greenville County. “Previously (meals were from a) provider that was outside of Greenville County. It was really part of our strategic plan and conversation that we felt that seniors in our community have the most nutritious, freshest-quality food that they could get … so we wanted to make sure that it was being prepared here in our community.”
Carlisle said this will allow food to be delivered just an hour before serving. Previously, food was delivered two to three hours prior to serving.
According to Carlisle, Meals on Wheels staff members will handle preparing and delivering meals to congregate dining locations, but additional volunteers will be needed to cover deliveries.
“I think the partnership and collaborating together is a great example as we look at the philanthropic dollars in Greenville County being stretched thin,” Carlisle said. “It’s a great example of public, private and government coming together to serve.”
This new program will be funded by grants from the Older Americans Act that were awarded to the Appalachian Council of Governments.
According to Carlisle, representatives from Meals on Wheels, the Appalachian Council of Governments and Senior Action will also appear at each other’s events to educate the public on the services the organizations offer.
When the program is fully functional, Carlisle said Meals on Wheels will add 300-400 meals a day between congregate dining and other home-delivered meal clients, a significant increase for the organization. She said the organization — which also provides meals and snacks for the Myer Center for Special Children and feeds children in summer reading programs — remains focused, however, on serving homebound citizens and seniors.