United Way’s Meals on Wheels celebrates 5 years + largest municipal grant

United Way's Meals on Wheels
United Way’s Meals on Wheels celebrating half a decade. Photo via Bham Now

Cue the confetti! Our friends at United Way of Central Alabama are celebrating BIG in the month of October. United Way’s Meals on Wheels just turned five, and the program recently received the biggest municipal grant in its history. We’ve got the scoop for you, Birmingham.

United Way’s Meals on Wheels—5 years of delivering meals and offering hope

United Way's Meals on Wheels
Delivering nutritious meals to the Jefferson County senior community. Photo via Bham Now

United Way’s Meals on Wheels serves homebound seniors in Jefferson County by delivering nutritious meals and providing other supportive services. For five years, volunteers and community partners have made an impact on the Jefferson County senior community through this program.

“In 2016, the Meals on Wheels program was on the verge of ending in Jefferson County and United Way of Central Alabama stepped in to operate the program. We immediately understood the need for and importance of keeping the program operational. It was vital for us to make sure the services didn’t end for our senior population.”

Karla Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Community Initiatives, United Way of Central Alabama

This year alone the program has:

  • Delivered 389,496 meals to homebound seniors in Jefferson County 
  • Served 1,864 clients
  • Added 1,000 new clients
  • Relied on 704 dedicated volunteers to make deliveries and recurring phone calls to seniors
  • Received dozens of new requests for service every week
  • Facilitated 12 vital home repairs free of charge through its Senior Home Repair Program in collaboration with United Way partner agencies

Look at those numbers! Now, that is something to celebrate.

United Way could not have done this without the generosity of its staff, volunteers and donors. Want to get involved? Visit United Way’s Meals on Wheels website to learn more.

More good news

United Way's Meals on Wheels
Here’s to more years of serving. Photo via Bham Now

In other celebratory news, the City of Bessemer and the City of Birmingham just made history for United Way’s Meals on Wheels. The cities awarded the program almost $300,000 in grant funding—$170,000 from the City of Bessemer and $122,005 from the City of Birmingham.

This hefty check will help support the program’s efforts and continue to enhance the lives of homebound elderly in Central Alabama.

“We are thrilled to have received so many grant gifts, particularly from municipalities. We commend municipalities for stepping up amid a crisis for our vulnerable elderly population in Central Alabama. With these grants, we can extend our region and increase our committed team to serve individuals in the community.”

Becky Wright, Director, Meals on Wheels

With help from these local municipalities, the grant funds will be used to:

  • Restock food and supplies, as well as finance transportation and staff expenses
  • Enable technology-based efforts to check in on solitary elders
  • Assist the hardest-hit areas by facilitating in-kind distribution initiatives with local vendors
  • Support timely distribution of meals and information required to guarantee the safe care of everybody

Are you as excited as we are about this milestone for United Way’s Meals on Wheels? Let us know on Instagram.

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Sonia Kerrigan
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