Meals on Wheels Programs and Services, Inc. has been improving the quality of life for aging Rockland County residents for more than four decades.
How We Started
In 1974, Rochelle Berger, founder and former CEO of the Agency, recognized the need for home delivered meals in Rockland County. With a small grant from the National Council of Jewish Women, Mrs. Berger set the wheels in motion by recruiting and organizing a consortium of volunteers who, in that first year, delivered nearly 10,000 meals.
Where We Are Today
As a not-for-profit agency with an annual budget of over $3 million, Meals on Wheels now has a staff of more than 80 employees, over 500 volunteers, and has delivered more than 9 million meals since its inception. It administers five senior centers, an adult day care center, central commissary, computer learning lab, and an all-senior theatrical troupe known as The Music Makers. The Agency has also established a Pet Pantry for seniors who cannot afford to feed their beloved pets.
How We Got There
In 1982, to meet the needs of an aging population, Meals on Wheels began operating senior centers strategically located throughout the County. These centers are designed to offer a "home away from home" for hundreds of participants who enjoy stimulating activities and the camaraderie of their peers.
The central commissary became fully operational in 1983, and now prepares over 200,000 meals annually. These meals are often a lifeline for homebound recipients, allowing them to live independently at home instead of being placed in a healthcare facility.
Seven years later the Adult Day Care of Rockland at the Bobbi Lewis Center, initially known as the STAR Program, was established. The Center meets the needs of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive disorders, and has provided a safe environment for hundreds of participants as well as respite for the caregivers.
As the Agency grew and expanded, it relocated several times until, in 1989, it settled in it's current home in Nanuet, NY. The 18,500 square foot facility is home to administrative offices, central commissary, Clarkstown/Pearl River Senior Center, Adult Day Care of Rockland at the Bobbi Lewis Center and the Adult Learning Center.
The Adult Learning Center first opened in 1998 under the name SeniorNet. Today it is a state-of-the-art computer learning center that provides peer-to-peer, hands-on computer instruction, affording participants the opportunity to develop computer and Internet skills and keep pace with emerging technology.
How We Do It
Each week hundreds of dedicated volunteers support the Agency's activities by delivering meals to frail, elderly homebound individuals, and providing general assistance in our Senior Centers and the Adult Day Care of Rockland at the Bobbi Lewis Center. They also teach, coach and administer the Adult Learning Center programs, assist in preparing meals in the central commissary, assist with special events, and help the Agency's staff with day-to-day activities.
The Agency relies in part on local, state and federal government assistance, grants, and private donations to sustain and augment its programs. Meals on Wheels is a member of Leave a Legacy of Rockland County and is committed to raising awareness of, and promoting local interest in, charitable giving through a will or lifetime gifts.