Making a Local Impact: Meals on Wheels

On Kathleen Oliver’s Meals on Wheels route, there is a gentleman who is a victim of stroke. He doesn’t have family in the area. Every day is a struggle – even walking is very difficult. He can’t drive a car. “He wouldn’t be able to stay where he is if not for this service,” said Kathleen, a long-time volunteer. “Meals on Wheels is vital for him.”

Stories like this helped Kathleen realize more than 17 years ago that she wanted to be a part of Meals on Wheels. Her mother-in-law Mary Oliver had been instrumental in helping to bring this  important service to Bloomington. She began volunteering on a route with Mary. When Kathleen became pregnant, Sally Fairfield took over for her and joined Mary on the route. When Mary passed away in 2007, Kathleen picked the route back up and now partners with Sally.

On the second Wednesday of every month, Sally and Kathleen run “Route Six” averaging eight to 12 deliveries in one afternoon. They offer more than just a hot meal. “Meals on Wheels offers daily contact. We offer a chance to remain independent,” explained Kathleen. “We bring smiles to faces. And they always bring a smile to our faces, too!”

As part of a partnership formed in 2010, the Bloomington Hospital Foundation provides fundraising and investment support to Meals on Wheels while MOW places its investments with the Foundation. Last year Meals on Wheels delivered more than 33,000 meals to Bloomington residents. Of those, 8,000 meals were delivered to low-income shut-ins at no charge.

Kathleen has not only given of her time over the last 17 years, she’s also donated financially to Meals on Wheels. “There is definitely more of a need for this service,” she said. “They need funds to expand to meet the growing need in our community. For that reason, I’ve stepped up my giving recently.”

Thanks to the generous support of Bloomington Hospital Foundation donors, residents who cannot afford this service receive two square meals a day anyway. Meals on Wheels meals (one hot, one cold deli-sack) cost $7 per day, $35 per week, $140 per month or $1,820 annually.

“People like Kathleen are the lifeblood of Meals on Wheels,” said MOW Executive Director Kathy Romy. “We have been around for over 42 years serving the Bloomington community and want to be around another 40 years and well into the future. Only with continued financial and volunteer support will we be able to continue to serve the most vulnerable in our community.”

“Meals on Wheels is an invaluable service. Those served not only get a hot meal plus an extra meal five times a week, but also personal contact, patronage and friendship. It’s a real sense of reward,” summed up Kathleen, “knowing you are providing more than just a meal to someone.”

The Bloomington Hospital Foundation invites you to make an impact on local hunger and consider sponsoring a local resident who may not be able to afford these healthy, dietician-prepared, much-needed meals. Please visit and click on “Make a local impact. Give now.”

Bloomingfoods’ shoppers break record with support of Meals on Wheels

In March, Bloomingfoods’ shoppers helped improve food access for homebound folks by donating a record-shattering $8,692 to support Bloomington Meals on Wheels, where people who are unable to cook for themselves receive two good meals per day delivered by a friendly visitor.

The donation through Positive Change will allow Bloomington Meals on Wheels to provide 2,900 meals to those who cannot afford the daily meal fee.

Positive Change raises funds by giving shoppers the opportunity to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar, or donate more if they wish. Each month, Bloomingfoods owner-members vote for the recipient, and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the organization. In April, the co-op program is raising funds for the Community Kitchen of Monroe County.

Bloomingfoods would like to extend its gratitude to the owner-members, shoppers and staff who are making Positive Change a success.

Meals on Wheels Volunteer Satisfaction Survey

Meals on Wheels volunteers were invited to participate in a research survey to assess the volunteer satisfaction.  The survey was distributed in March 2016 by email and included a link to a web-based survey. Seventy two respondents completed the survey with the response rate of 36%.  Here is the survey in its entirety.

Meals on Wheels volunteer Satisfaction report

Positive Change keeps truckin’ for Bloomington Meals on Wheels

“Bloomington Meals on Wheels is grateful to Bloomingfoods and their members for this big-hearted donation from the Positive Change program.  Meals on Wheels could not carry out its mission without the generosity of civic-minded individuals and businesses like Bloomingfoods,” said Kathy Romy, Executive Director, Bloomington Meals on Wheels. “This donation will go directly to support our commitment to feed those in our own community who desperately need our services.”

Bloomingfoods’ shoppers continue to keep the donations rolling in! In September,  shoppers donated $4,259.07 to Bloomington Meals on Wheels through this community-driven fundraising campaign, Positive Change.

Positive Change raises funds by giving shoppers the opportunity to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar, or donate more if they wish. Each month, Bloomingfoods has a new recipient organization, and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the organization.

DUKE Energy Community Development Grant benefits Meals on Wheels

Duke Energy Foundation presents a check for $5000 to Bloomington Meals on Wheels to aid in program development.  Pictured left to right is Lisa Kobe, Duke Energy representative, Bruce Calloway, Government and Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy, Marc Fishman, MOW Board Chair, Kathy Romy, MOW Executive Director.

“The Duke Energy Foundation is pleased to support Bloomington Meals on Wheels to expand their capacity in order to decrease food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition among Bloomington’s senior and ill residents”, states Calloway.

Bloomington Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to those who are unable to cook for themselves due to injury, illness or disability.

Bloomington Meals on Wheels Newsletter 2015

Click here to read our latest news:  MOW December 2015_FNL

Meals on Wheels participates in Lennie’s Dine & Donate program

Bloomington Meals on Wheels was the chosen Dine & Donate charity for the month of August at Lennie’s Brew Pub.  Each Tuesday in August, Lennie’s donated 20% of each participant diner’s tab to Meals on Wheels.  Lennie’s general Manager Mike Fox, along with One World Co-founders Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch, presented MOW Director Kathy Romy a check for $560.  Thank you, Lennie’s!!

Home Instead Senior Care Foundation awards grant to Bloomington Meals on Wheels

Bloomington Meals on Wheels is happy to announce a grant awarded to us by Home Instead Senior Care Foundation.  This grant of $7800 will be used to expand the capacity to serve those low-income clients who do not have the ability to pay for their meals.

The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Endowment Fund was established in 2013 with the following impact areas:

Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias

Support specialized dementia education and training for families and medical professionals. Launch innovative programs that lead to better diagnosis and treatment. Create support services for the betterment of the Alzheimer’s or other dementia caregiver.

Health & Wellness

Implement programs that bring meaningful change to the healthcare system, making it more accessible for seniors. Provide charitable care for seniors in genuine need. Invest in wellness and prevention initiatives, nutrition and exercise programs.

Education & Research

Make lifelong learning a possibility for today’s medical professionals while investing in the future through scholarships for those studying geriatrics. Begin promising research initiatives that result in meaningful change for seniors’ health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Community Service

Encourage successful aging in cities and rural communities by strengthening local public services and systems that support the elderly. Ensure the most basic needs of seniors are met through outreach initiatives and collaborative partnerships with the public and private sectors.

As the efforts of the Foundation continue to emerge, we will look forward to sharing our outcomes and success stories.

General Endowment

General endowment funds support critical areas of need based on the discretion of the Board of Directors.

For more information on The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation, visit



IU Students Make Valentines Day Sweeter for MOW clients

Students from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs created Valentines for distribution to Bloomington Meals on Wheels clients on Friday, February 13. MOW volunteers delivered the home-made Valentines along with the two nutritious daily meals.  A Big THANK YOU to the students of SPEA from everyone at Bloomington Meals on Wheels!

MOW January Fundraiser A Success!

Bloomington Meals on Wheels sponsored a fundraiser at Players Pub in Bloomington on January 24.  Local ukulele quartet The Uketones performed and members of the Bloomington community came to support Meals on Wheels.  $2700 was raised that evening in support of Meals on Wheels and their mission.  This money will go directly to feed those clients who qualify for financial assistance.

Since 1973, Bloomington Meals on Wheels has delivered nutritious meals to homebound people who are unable to cook for themselves.  Clients receive two nutritious meals a day delivered by a friendly volunteer.  Meals on Wheels reduces helathcare costs by allowing clients to remain in their homes.