February 23, 2021
We have exciting news for you -- news that will strengthen our ability to serve seniors. After extensive study, Cincinnati Area Senior Services and Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY have decided to merge.
The leadership of both organizations are confident that this action will position us to provide the best possible services for many years. Seniors need us now more than ever, not only because of the pandemic but also because of the ongoing, dramatic growth in their population.
We must be prepared to meet the rapidly rising demand, so we’re forming one of the largest local community-based organizations that provides direct services to seniors. This merger makes a bold statement -- and a promise: Working with our communities, our combined organization will tackle the challenges facing us so that every senior enjoys the support and dignity that they deserve.
The merged organization will serve more than 10,000 seniors annually. That scale, along with a $4 million grant last year from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, will fuel our efforts to innovate -- to bring about transformational change. We also believe that there is a significant opportunity to eliminate duplication of services between our organizations.
Our organizations have remarkable similarities, including our main missions -- to help seniors live independently and thrive. Both organizations have substantial Meals on Wheels programs. Both address isolation among older adults and exploitation. And both are passionate about our missions. Combined, our organizations have over 135 years of dedication to seniors.
Founded in 1967, CASS initially offered home-delivered meals and meals served in congregate settings in the community. CASS later broadened its services to include transportation as well as services to help older adults deal with complex personal responsibilities, including financial management.
Founded in 1937, Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY initially was known as Wesley House, then Wesley Community Services. We first offered places to live for low-income seniors. Later, we phased out our residential facilities and added home-delivered meals and other services to help seniors live independently.
As we work to combine the two organizations, we have lots of details to sort out, but we know this:
· We will retain all of our programs and services.
· No one will lose their job due to the merger. In fact, we expect more job opportunities.
· We hope to expand our services and partnerships in Northern Kentucky.
· While this is a partnership of two equally strong organizations, we have chosen to use the name “Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY” because of the strong, positive recognition of the Meals on Wheels brand.
On behalf of our boards, we thank you for your support. We know older adults are better off because of your help. We hope you’ll continue to be involved in our fight against the hunger and isolation that burdens so many seniors.
Mike Murphy, Board Chair & Jennifer Steele, CEO
Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY
Daniel Driehaus, Board Chair & Tracey Collins, CEO
Cincinnati Area Senior Services