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Meals on Wheels is much more than a meal

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Program also offers health benefits and peace of mind

While Meals on Wheels is primarily known for its role in offering healthy, donation-based meals to elders who are unable to prepare meals for themselves on their own at home, the program is often the first line of defense in preventing these individuals from becoming lonely or isolated.

MOW client volunteer driverVolunteer Meals on Wheels driver Alan Coutinho (right) delivers a hot meal to Joan Wilson at her home in Shelburne.

Loneliness and social isolation take a toll on one’s health. According to a recent research study by Brigham Young University in Utah, the negative health effects matched those seen in alcoholism or in individuals who smoke 15 cigarettes daily.

Many Meals on Wheels programs, including the Meals on Wheels program at LifePath, offer “wellness checks” to raise an alert if a client’s physical, emotional, or mental health seems to change. A 2015 Meals on Wheels America double-blind study conducted by Brown University showed that these daily personal interactions during meal deliveries can:

  • lower the odds of an individual needing to enter a nursing home, which in turn yields more savings for state budgets
  • decrease the risk of falls among elders
  • reduce the elder’s worries about being able to age in place
  • lessen the elder’s feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • improve the elder’s mental health and self-rated overall health

We at LifePath want members of the Franklin County and North Quabbin communities to know that they can always find peace of mind through our Meals on Wheels program. When an individual qualifies for home delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels program, LifePath will always work with them to meet their needs. Thanks to generous donations from the community and the participation of community members in annual events like the Meals on Wheels Walkathon, LifePath has continually been able to say “Yes!” to all individuals in our region who need Meals on Wheels services.

To learn more about the 2017 Meals on Wheels Walkathon on Saturday, April 29, at Greenfield Community College, contact Carol Foote, development manager, at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259, ext. 2225, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sign up as a sponsor here or make a donation to Meals on Wheels online here.