SEPTEMBER 28, 2021
Meals on Wheels Expands to Northern Kentucky to Serve More Seniors
INDEPENDENCE, KY—Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky held an open house for community partners and members of the media at its new satellite location, 10100 Toebben Drive, Independence, Kentucky. The new location will help bring much needed space to accommodate the growth in meals to seniors.
The new Meals on Wheels location will allow the organization to show its expanded commitment to partner with Northern Kentucky agencies and provide enhanced service to Northern Kentucky seniors through dedicated routes, vehicles, storage and distribution space. It also provides a more robust position for Meals on Wheels to respond to the crisis in aging, especially in Kentucky. The Commonwealth currently has the highest rate of food insecurity among people aged 50-59 in the nation. Every day, some of these individuals become seniors.
The Open House included special pie deliveries from the Meals on Wheels “Pie Mobile” and an apple cart from Locust Creek Caramel Apples.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021
Bust A Crust! Pie-K 5K debuts with More Than 200 Participants
APRIL 27, 2021
WE RECEIVED A $100,000 GRANT FROM THE L&L NIPPERT CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The grant will fund new kitchen equipment to help us meet increasing demand
CINCINNATI—Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY received a $100,000 grant from the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation to purchase a new plating and sealing machine for its commercial-grade kitchen. The critical equipment will allow Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY, the region’s largest Meals on Wheels provider, to continue meeting the rising need for its services among local seniors.
“This new equipment will enable us to meaningfully increase our production capacity, allowing us to serve even more seniors in the coming months and years,” said Jennifer Steele, CEO of Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “We are so grateful to the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation for their generous support which will meaningfully improve the lives of so many in our community.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, requests for Meals on Wheels’ services have significantly increased. Meals on Wheels now produces more than a million meals per year, up from 250,000 meals per year. The nonprofit’s offerings include a full menu of 30+ traditional meal choices, along with 10 special menu options for seniors with specific dietary and medical needs, such as diabetes or Celiac disease.
The new plating and sealing machine will replace Meals on Wheels’ existing machine, which is out-of-date and too small for the growing nonprofit’s needs. The new equipment will also allow Meals on Wheels to create its own meal labels with large with more nutritional details and in a larger, easier-to-read fonts.
The L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit dedicated to continuing Louis and Louise Nippert’s long-standing philanthropic efforts to benefit the residents of the tri-state area.
APRIL 8, 2021
OUR CEO HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED WITH ANOTHER AWARD
CINCINNATI—Jennifer Steele, the CEO of Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY, has been named a Distinguished Alumna by Northern Kentucky University’s Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) program.
The program noted that Steel, a 2010 graduate, was selected for “her vision and agility in leading Meals on Wheels through change and innovation during the past few years, including a major rebranding and a merger.” In addition, the program called out Steele’s “leadership in serving and helping people and communities in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati."
Steele will receive her award and share insights about work in public service career on Wednesday, April 28, beginning at 7:00 pm on Zoom. Those interested in joining the virtual program can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year, Steele was recognized with a Leadership Legacy Award from The Leadership Council of Nonprofits. They recognized Steele with their VUCA Award for “positively impacting her organization and the community through demonstrated Vision, Understanding, Clarity & Agility in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous world.”
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
OVER-THE-RHINE SENIOR CENTER RE-OPENS TO LIMITED CAPACITY AFTER PANDEMIC CLOSURE
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
TWO CINCINNATI AREA NONPROFITS ARE MERGING TO ENHANCE SERVICES TO OLDER ADULTS
Cincinnati Area Senior Services and Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern Kentucky are Combining Operations
CINCINNATI— The Over-the-Rhine Senior Center, at 1722 Race Street, is reopening in a limited manner after being temporarily closed about a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns for senior and staff health and safety. For the time being, the Center will operate on a limited capacity to those adults 60 and over who have been vaccinated. In addition, temperature and illness checks will be performed daily on all who enter. Social distancing will also be enforced.
- They will retain all of their programs and services.
- No one will lose their job due to the merger. In fact, more job opportunities are expected.
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FEBRUARY 10, 2021
OUR CEO TO BE RECOGNIZED WITH LEADERSHIP AWARD
JANUARY 14, 2021
ACCOMPLISHED LOCAL EXECUTIVE JOINS OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CINCINNATI—Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY recently welcomed Mary Wagner, P&G SVP and CEO of iMFLUX, to its board. Wagner spent her career at P&G where she worked in various positions across the supply chain, working in both the US and China. In 2018, Wagner was appointed to run iMFLUX, a wholly owned subsidiary of P&G, that supplies molds and a new to the world injection molding process technology to P&G and customers around the world.
“I’m excited to join Meals on Wheels’ board to help support this critically important organization,” said Wagner. “Seniors in our community need support now more than ever, and I look forward to working with the Meals on Wheels team and other board members to continue providing existing and new services and programs.”
iMFLUX is a startup that is partnering broadly and beginning to scale its operations with an ambitious vision to change the way the world molds. Wagner’s experience in supply chain and growing an innovative business will be especially valuable on Meals on Wheels’ board.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mary to our board, and we know that her professional experience and passion for our mission will help guide our organization in the coming months and years as we continue to identify innovative ways to support seniors in our community,” said Jennifer Steele, CEO of Meals on Wheels.
DECEMBER 15, 2020
MEALS ON WHEELS SOUTHWEST OH & NORTHERN KY RECEIVES $4 MILLION GIFT FROM MACKENZIE SCOTT
The gift is the largest, by far, in the organization's history
NOVEMBER 20, 2020
MEALS ON WHEELS SOUTHWEST OH & NORTHERN KY PREPARES MORE THAN 1,700 THANKSGIVING PIES FOR PICKUP
The Bust-A-Crust Campaign Raised $59,000 through pie sales, donations and partnership to feed local seniors
CINCINNATI— Hundreds of pies are ready for pickup at Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY on Saturday November 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of its first annual Bust a Crust! fundraiser. The new program allowed people to purchase locally baked Thanksgiving pies—available in pumpkin, apple, and pecan—and all funds go towards feeding local seniors, with the $25 cost per pie feeding a senior for an entire week. The first year for Bust a Crust! was such a success that Meals on Wheels sold out of pies before the campaign was set to end.
“We are so grateful to our community for supporting the Bust a Crust! program to help us raise the necessary funds to meet the increasing need in our community so no senior goes hungry this holiday season,” said Jennifer Steele, CEO of Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “Requests for our Meals on Wheels services have nearly tripled since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, so we are doing everything in our power to help feed local seniors so they can stay healthy, safe and independent in their homes.”
The heartwarming turnout for this event not only included people purchasing pies for themselves, but people purchasing pies to donate to local seniors, making additional donations, and sponsoring the program. From October 19 to November 16, the campaign reached:
- 1,767 pies sold or donated to seniors
- $59,000 raised to deliver meals to seniors
- 63 community volunteers volunteered more than 178 hours
- 26 corporate partners
Bust a Crust! would not be possible without the pie masters who generously donated pies, including:
Busken, Kroger, Chartwells, Fork and Pie Bakery, The Lytle Park Hotel, Mama Rose’s, Nay Mama’s Sweet Treats, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Taste of Belgium. In addition, the program received significant support from corporate sponsors: Wordsworth Communications, Robert Half, Graydon, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Barnes Denning, J.T.M Food Group, Accessible Solutions Inc., Alison & Lee Bushman, Derringer Food Service, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Millennium Business Systems, Preferred Packaging Sales & Service, Reinhart Foods, Skyline, Storyocity, and the TQL Foundation.
OCTOBER 17, 2020
THIS THANKSGIVING, PAY IT FORWARD WITH PIE
Every $25 pie sold enables Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY to feed a local senior fo ran entire week
CINCINNATI—Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY just launched a new program called Bust a Crust! to help people celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday while also supporting seniors in the community. Bust a Crust! allows anyone in Greater Cincinnati to purchase a locally baked pie for themselves or a loved one, and the $25 cost provides funds for Meals on Wheels to feed a local senior for an entire week.
“Bust a Crust! will help us continue raising the necessary funds to meet the increasing need in our community so no senior goes hungry this holiday season,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “Requests for our Meals on Wheels services have nearly tripled since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, so we are doing everything in our power to help feed local seniors so they can stay healthy, safe and independent in their homes.”
Pies are available to purchase online between October 19 and November 16. There are four flavors available—apple, pecan and pumpkin—all from local sources, including Busken Bakery, Kroger, Reinhart Foods, Subito, and the Queen City Club. There is also a featured pie from Executive Chef Michael McIntosh at Subito’s in the Lytle Park Hotel. Customers can pick up their pies at Meals on Wheels’ headquarters in Price Hill (2091 Radcliff Drive) on November 21, just in time for Thanksgiving. The pies will be baked and require no refrigeration.
Individuals or groups looking to purchase pies in bulk for gifts or large gatherings can purchase them at a discount. Orders of 20 or more cost $15 per pie and orders of 50 or more cost $13 per pie. In addition, Meals on Wheels will deliver orders of 20 or more, in bulk, pies to any local address.
“So many of us top off our Thanksgiving feasts with pie, so just think about how much better that pie will taste when you know it’s helping to feed seniors right here in our community,” said Sara Celi, a local author, Meals on Wheels board member and chairperson of Bust a Crust! “We hope people find it hard to say ‘no’ to a chance to eat well and do well at the same time.”
Bust a Crust! would not be possible without Meals on Wheels’ corporate sponsors: Storyocity, Wordsworth Communications, Robert Half, Accessible Solutions, Derringer Food Service, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Millennium Business Solutions and Skyline. (A portion of dessert sales at Subito will also be donated to Meals on Wheels during the Bust a Crust! program.)
JULY 15, 2020
LOCAL NONPROFITS PARTNER TO DELIVER ADULT INCONTINENCE PRODUCTS TO SENIORS IN NEED
The new initiative will hopefully expand in 2021 pending pilot program results, funding
CINCINNATI—Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY and Fly & Dry Basic Needs Bank are launching a new pilot program to deliver adult incontinence products to seniors in Greater Cincinnati. Fly & Dry Basic Needs Bank, whose parent organization, COVERD Greater Cincinnati, also runs Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and Tidal Babe Period Bank, knew there was a need for incontinence products among adults in the community, so partnering with Meals on Wheels to reach seniors ages 60+ was the perfect fit.
The pilot program began in early July and includes 50 Meals on Wheels clients in Greater Cincinnati. Participants—who were identified in partnership with case managers at the Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky Area Development District—will receive a pack of seven products each week with their regularly scheduled Meals on Wheels delivery.
“We’ve seen an increase in requests for adult incontinence products from many of our partners, so we’re excited to launch this new initiative to support even more members of our community,” said Megan Fischer, CEO and Founder of Fly & Dry Basic Needs Bank. “We know that this is a sensitive topic for many adults, so being discreet and respectful through this program is one of our top priorities.”
Fly & Dry Basic Needs Bank and Meals on Wheels are working to finalize packaging and training drivers about the new pilot to ensure that clients feel comfortable receiving the new products.
“Basic needs such as soap, toilet paper, and personal hygiene items have become more difficult for seniors to obtain during COVID-19,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels. “Incontinence supplies are necessary for the health and dignity of the seniors we serve. This partnership is already having a dramatic improvement on seniors’ quality of life and health.”
Since seniors are most likely to develop severe complications from COVID-19, Meals on Wheels is working to provide the resources seniors need to stay safe and healthy in their homes. Since March, Meals on Wheels has developed several new initiatives to provide additional food and other necessities to home-bound seniors. The nonprofit is currently piloting a senior-focused grocery delivery app in partnership with Food Forest. In addition, Meals on Wheels launched an outreach effort where volunteers call local seniors to check in and see if they need assistance with food or other issues, and then connect them with local resources as needed.
The new pilot is expected to extend through the end of 2020. Then, Fischer hopes to expand the program to other community partners in the region, but it will depend on available funding. While the pilot program with Meals on Wheels only serves seniors ages 60+, Fischer emphasized that adults of all ages need incontinence products for a variety of reasons, such disabilities, chronic illnesses and trauma.
MAY 14, 2020
LOCAL NONPROFITS PILOT NEW GROCERY DELIVER SERVICE FOR SENIORS
Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY and Food Forest partnered to develop a food delivery app in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
CINCINNATI—Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY is launching a new grocery and meal delivery app for local seniors in partnership with Food Forest as part of the nonprofit’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot begins this week, and Meals on Wheels hopes to open the program to seniors 60+ in Greater Cincinnati in the next month.
“We are constantly looking for ways to provide local seniors with nutritious food while allowing them to stay safe in their homes throughout this crisis,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “We’re excited to pilot a program that will expand delivery options to seniors during a time when it may be difficult to safely access food on their own.”
The Meals on Wheels-branded app is a version of Food Forest’s existing platform, which provides affordable grocery delivery to people living in food desserts, many of whom are low income. Food Forest launched in Walnut Hills in 2019 following the closure of Kroger’s location in that neighborhood.
“This partnership fits into our mission to address food insecurity and make online grocery shopping available to everyone,” said David Curtin, Founder and CEO, Food Forest. “Our goal is to help anyone who has trouble accessing fresh and affordable food, but we’re especially pleased to help seniors who are particularly at risk because of COVID-19.”
Meals on Wheels hopes to leverage donations and grant funding to reduce the cost for low-income seniors once the platform is available to the public, which is expected to be in about one month if the pilot proves successful. In addition, all Food Forest’s services accept SNAP and EBT benefits, unlike many other grocery delivery providers in the area.
Meals on Wheels understands that using new technology may be challenging for some seniors, so the pilot will also include innovations to help seniors understand how to best use the app. Seniors who remain uncomfortable ordering online—or who don’t have access to the necessary technology—will be able to place orders by phone for grocery and meal delivery.
“We’re hopeful that this program will help address the digital divide among older adults,” said Steele. “Seniors often need digital services like this the most but are often the least equipped to take advantage of them without proper support.”
Meals on Wheels and Food Forest will work with other partners to implement the program, including Produce Perks, a nonprofit that doubles grocery orders of fruits and vegetables for individuals using SNAP, as well as various agencies serving seniors in the community, including the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation also provided critical funding to develop the new Meals on Wheels version of Food Forest’s app.
Once the pilot program is complete and the app is adjusted based on the findings, it will be available for download. Food Forest’s existing app is available for individuals and families looking for affordable meal delivery services within an 8-mile radius of Walnut Hills, including most of the urban core and some of Northern Kentucky.
APRIL 27, 2020
MEALS ON WHEELS LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE OUTREACH PROGRAM TO CONNECT WITH HOME-BOUND SENIORS
Volunteers and donations needed to support increased demand throughout COVID-19 crisis
CINCINNATI—As the coronavirus continues to threaten the health of local seniors, Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY is leveraging the web-based platform Mobilize—used to engage volunteers and get out the vote during elections—to make check-in phone calls to home-bound seniors. The nonprofit launched the first-of-its-kind pilot program at the end of March and will extend the service throughout the region in the coming weeks.
Requests for Meals on Wheels’ services have nearly tripled. Many seniors who may have previously relied on family and friends for food, shopping and companionship are now alone and without financial support due to quarantine and job loss.
Using Mobilize, Meals on Wheels can recruit, train and schedule volunteers to connect directly with seniors in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If a senior reports food insecurity, the Meals on Wheels team can respond immediately with an emergency food delivery and assess the need for ongoing services.
“Seniors are most at-risk for serious complications from COVID-19, so we don’t want them leaving their homes to get food and increasing their chances of catching the virus,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “No senior should go hungry during this pandemic. This new program allows us to reach seniors who may not otherwise have the necessary support system required to stay fed throughout this crisis.”
To support the influx of new seniors in need, Meals on Wheels needs urgent donations. No senior is turned away during the crisis. Without donations from individuals, foundations and corporate partners, Meals on Wheels cannot continue to meet the increased demand. Donors can make contributions online or reach out to Meals on Wheels team.
“Earlier this week, we connected with a 92-year-old senior who reported not having enough food and being scared to leave the house because of coronavirus risks,” said Steele. “We were able to secure a volunteer to deliver meals directly to that senior’s door just hours later, completely paid for by charitable donations.”
Meals on Wheels provides several donation options to support emergency meals for seniors:
- $50 provides a nonperishable 14-day emergency box of meals
- $100 buys a month of dairy and fresh produce
- $250 supports one month of home-delivered lunches
- $600 provides one month of breakfast, lunch and dinner
- $1,250 provides 6 months of home-delivered lunches
Volunteers who participated in the pilot program have already connected with nearly 2,000 local seniors. To be able to reach seniors throughout the entire region in coming weeks, Meals on Wheels needs approximately 90 additional volunteers to make calls.
Jens Sutmoller, a political campaign and public affairs consultant, developed the idea and brought it to Meals on Wheels. He continues working closely with the Meals on Wheels team on a pro bono basis to help establish the call campaign.
“I’ve worked with phonebank and volunteer technology like Mobilize in the past, and it is the perfect platform to help Meals on Wheels increase its reach to connect with more seniors in need throughout this crisis,” said Sutmoller. “I’m proud to support Meals on Wheels’ efforts with these repurposed tools.”
Meals on Wheels is also collaborating with United Way of Greater Cincinnati, one of the program’s initial funders, to incorporate United Way’s 211 support system into the Mobilize platform.
“We know seniors are at high risk during this pandemic and in need of food, but many have other needs too, and they don’t know where to turn,” said Moira Weir, United Way of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO. “Through our ongoing collaboration with Meals on Wheels, we were able to connect their technology to our 211 system and offer seniors other resources for paying rent, filling medications and meeting other needs so they stay safe at home.”