Main Line Meals on Wheels
Many of you have heard of Meals on Wheels, but not so many know much about us. Meals on Wheels is active throughout the United States; our local program is Main Line Meals on Wheels. We deliver meals out of both Devon and Bryn Mawr locations.
Our mission is to deliver nutritious meals to the aged, convalescents, homebound and handicapped persons who are unable to shop or cook for themselves, regardless of race, color, creed, age or ability to pay.
You may think that not many people who live on the Main Line are in need, but that is not reality. People in our own communities unnecessarily go hungry- or are not properly nourished- every day.
Here are some current statistics:
We average ~120 patrons per day with two meals.
We deliver meals five days per week.
That equals ~260 deliveries per patron, per year.
So Main Line Meals on Wheels delivers a total of ~61,000 meals per year.
Each delivery includes a hot meal (protein, starch and veggie), plus hot soup, a roll and butter, a sandwich, milk or juice, and dessert.
From Devon, meals are delivered within Radnor, Tredyffrin, Easttown, and Willistown Townships, as well as Malvern Borough. From our Bryn Mawr location, meals are delivered primarily within Lower Merion Township and Narberth Borough.
Deliveries start each day at about 10:15am. Deliveries are completely staffed by volunteers. Volunteers work in teams of two: a driver, using their own vehicle (miles driven are tax deductible), and a “visitor” who carries the meals to the clients’ residences. Patrons are grouped into “routes”, keeping them as close together as possible. A route usually consists of about 12 patrons. Completing delivery to a route takes about two hours.
Most commonly, patrons either leave their doors unlocked for us to enter, or someone (the patron or a caregiver) comes to the door to receive them. Some patrons leave coolers outside their doors to store the meals until someone retrieves them, but we strongly prefer to see each patron every day so we know that they are well.
Assuming 10 routes, we need 20 volunteers to work every day, five days per week. As you can imagine, the pool of volunteers must be much larger. Volunteers are free to work as often or as seldom as they wish. Commonly, for example, a volunteer will have a regular schedule, for example, be a driver or a visitor on the same day each week. In that case, they usually have the same route, as visitors like to establish a rapport with their patrons, while drivers get to know the route. At the other end of the spectrum, some volunteers work only on a substitute basis: we call them if we have a vacancy and they are free to accept or decline.
We also have volunteers who work in the Devon and Bryn Mawr “pantries” every day. These people package the meals for pickup by the driver and visitor teams. They work from about 9:30am until 10:15am.
Both Devon and Bryn Mawr locations have managers for their program. The managers interface with patrons via phone and also make sure each route has both a driver and visitor every day. The managers also greet the driver and visitor teams when meals are picked up and at the end of their routes.
We always welcome new patrons. If you know anyone who can use our services- either temporarily or on an ongoing basis- please have them call us.
We are constantly in need of volunteers to join the pool. If you think you may like to help us, please call and speak with one of our managers. We are happy to have you come along on a route to get a feel for whether it would be a good fit for you.
And, of course, we are always very grateful for monetary donations. You can donate directly or via the United Way. Lastly, we participate in the “Amazon Smile” program, so you can donate to us for free while you shop. Just go to https://smile.amazon.com
Main Line Meals on Wheels, Inc. is a 501 (C) (3) organization.