Meals on Wheels celebrates 40 years of service to the Bloomington community

Route 3 M.O.W. driver Nancy visits with client Mary.

Bloomington Meals on Wheels (MOW), originally founded in 1973 by the Local Council of Women, has been providing two nutritious meals a day to the elderly, disabled, and homebound for almost 40 years. Meals on Wheels serves those within the Bloomington city limits who are recovering from an accident or illness, are temporarily or permanently disabled, or are simply unable to prepare food independently. The fee-for-service program offers a sack lunch and a hot meal at a minimal cost, based on a physician’s diet order for each client. It is the only agency in town that provides diabetic home-delivered meals. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

To meet the ever-increasing demand for its meal services, especially by need-based clients, MOW recently added a seventh delivery route serving 12 more recipients, the first new route since 1997. The implementation required much planning, including the recruitment of 40 new volunteers and the reconfiguration of current delivery routes. To serve low-income clients, especially those struggling with diabetes, MOW partners with the Area 10 Agency on Aging, Centerstone’s “Be Well” Program, and Volunteers in Medicine. MOW meals are prepared under the direction of a dietician from Bloomington Hospital, mainly in the hospital’s kitchen, but also in the kitchen at Meadowood for delivery to a route close to that facility. In 2011, over 200 MOW volunteers delivered 13,737 meals to recipients; 1,866 of those meals were delivered to eligible low-income clients at no cost.

In 2010, the MOW Board of Directors hired Kathy Romy as Executive Director to oversee the daily operations of the organization and to increase exposure of the Meals on Wheels mission to the community. MOW also formalized its partnership with the Bloomington Hospital Foundation. Under the partnership, the Foundation provides fundraising and investment support to Meals on Wheels.

Mary Lang, Major Gifts Officer for the Bloomington Hospital Foundation, reports that, due to Kathy Romy’s efforts, for the third year MOW has been awarded Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) credits from the state of Indiana. In 2012 MOW received $9,050 in NAP credits, which were offered for a total of $18,100 in donations. The NAP credits are used to provide donors with a state tax credit of 50% of each donation of $100 or more. It is hoped that MOW will be able to offer NAP credits next year, as well.

MOW will celebrate its 40th year of service in 2013, and plans to mark the occasion with several events and celebrations throughout the year. For more information visit the MOW website at

www.bloomingtonmealsonwheels.org