Meals on Wheels
Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to delivering hot meals each weekday to qualifying homebound and elderly clients regardless of their ability to pay.
The Program provides in-home delivery of hot, nutritious meals by community volunteers to aged and infirm citizens of the City of Galveston. Each meal is delivered with kind words and a smile. For many recipients this may be the contact they have with someone outside of their home on a regular basis. Galveston Island Meals on Wheels is more than just a meal — it’s a vital link for homebound residents.
Growth Through the Years
The Galveston Island Meals on Wheels Program began in 1974 as a cooperative effort between the Junior League of Galveston County and Moody House, the Methodist Retirement Communities’ facility in Galveston. In 2009, a decision was made to form a not-for-profit corporation to ensure uninterrupted meal services to this vulnerable population.
At the time it began operations in 1974, the program delivered just 10 meals a week. Today Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, Inc. delivers more than 100 meals daily. Since the program started, more than 500,000 meals have been delivered to the elderly and homebound citizens in Galveston. More than 28,000 meals were delivered in 2011.
Two Guiding Principles
A major philosophy behind Galveston Island Meals on Wheels is a commitment to keep the program deeply rooted in the Galveston community. With this in mind, two basic principles guide its operations:
- Federal funds are neither used—nor sought—so that the program may remain independent of funding that can be withdrawn and of regulations that can become restrictive. Recipients are asked to pay what they can towards the cost of the program but are not denied meals if unable to pay.
- Volunteers from within the community are recruited to deliver meals and community gifts are solicited to provide assistance to help those unable to pay the full cost of their meals.
A Three-fold Purpose
There are three primary objectives of the Galveston Is land Meals on Wheels Program:
- To provide well-balanced nutritious meals to Galveston citizens who, because of age or infirmity, have difficulty preparing or securing meals on their own;
- To provide companionship to those served through daily visits by volunteers.
- To provide citizens interested in working with and ministering to the elderly an opportunity to work directly with elderly clients.
An additional benefit of the Galveston Island Meals on Wheels program is that it enables many senior adults to remain in their homes longer or return to their homes sooner following discharge from the hospital.
Three Basic Needs
The needs of the Galveston Island Meals on Wheels Program are three-fold:
- Volunteers are needed to deliver the meals. The number of meals served is limited in part by the number of volunteers available to deliver to recipients. Volunteers can include Galveston students, homemakers, business professionals, retirees — or groups (civic, social and/or church related).
- Financial support is needed to assist those who cannot pay the full cost of their meals. The majority of meal recipients are unable to pay the full cost of their meals. However, no one is denied a meal for the lack of funds making outside support critical to the program.
- Individuals or organizations willing to adopt a meal. Individuals and/or organizations willing to adopt one or more clients oit a monthly or annual basis are encouraged to contact Galveston Island Meals on Wheels.
Days of Operation
Noontime meals are prepared daily, Monday through Friday, including holidays.
Individual Cost of Meals
All meals are sold at cost, and costs are kept to a minimum. Recipients are asked to pay what they can, but only about one-fourth of the recipients can pay the full cost of the meals. Donations and gifts make up the difference in Cost. All donations are tax-deductible.
Recipients must be elderly and/or home-bound residents of Galveston. Referrals are welcome and come from many sources, with the majority coming from discharge planners and social workers of local hospitals. To make a referral and obtain more information, please contact Galveston Island Meals on Wheels at (409) 744-2668.
The Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, Inc. Board of Directors are volunteers who reside or work in Galveston. Board members meet monthly to oversee program operations, fundraising, and publicity.