This holiday season, Meals on Wheels by ACC (MoW) is delivering some much-needed cheer to the region’s seniors. The Sacramento-based nonprofit works tirelessly to help seniors stay in their homes and communities by providing nutritious meals, social contact and safety-net services. Thanks to generous support from the region’s businesses, donors and the Sacramento community — including a new partnership with Selland’s Market-Cafe, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and DoorDash — MoW provided seniors with a nutritious and festive Thanksgiving meal.
“Because of the pandemic, many of our seniors have been separated from their families and other loved ones for almost two years,” says Kevin McAllister, MoW executive director. “So we are going above and beyond this year to make sure our seniors feel loved and celebrated.”
Thanks to the new partnership with DoorDash, Drewski’s and Selland’s, seniors were treated to a Thanksgiving meal delivered to their doorsteps on Thanksgiving Day. DoorDash made all deliveries in-kind, with nearly 350 meals delivered that day.
“In previous years, we have partnered with SMUD and assembled over 400 bags of groceries and delivered them to our seniors on Thanksgiving,” McAllister says. “But because of Covid, this year we were unable to safely congregate and assemble donated items. We are immensely grateful for DoorDash, Drewski’s and Selland’s — they made this Thanksgiving a special one for our seniors.”
MoW is also hard at work organizing Project Warm Wishes for seniors this winter. Thanks to a number of generous donations, the nonprofit has been able to purchase items to keep seniors warm and cozy during the colder months. “We have purchased blankets, scarves, socks, gloves and other cozy items,” McAllister says. “This very special program allows us to spread a little holiday magic for our community’s homebound seniors who otherwise may have been forgotten during the holidays.”
Under normal circumstances, MoW serves lunch five days a week, free of charge, to approximately 625 participants aged 60 and better at its 20 All Seasons Cafes throughout Sacramento County. With all of the cafes closed during the pandemic, MoW is operating 13 curbside meal pickup sites.
“Our volunteers help serve almost half a million meals to our seniors every year. Because of their generous and caring service, we can make a big difference in the community.”
— Kevin McAllister
“The need for food assistance in our communities has profoundly increased since the pandemic started,” McAllister says. “We are now serving over 1,300 participants, which is a 108% increase.”
MoW continues its home delivery program, serving more than 1,450 Sacramento County seniors aged 60 or better with hot, home-delivered meals five days per week or a box of five frozen meals to heat at their convenience. Along with home-delivered meals, homebound seniors can also benefit from additional services such as pet food deliveries for their dogs and cats through MoW’s AniMeals program.
“We are always looking for more volunteers to support our meal delivery program,” McAllister says. “We lost nearly 80% of our volunteers due to Covid, so we encourage those in the community who may be interested in volunteering to contact us. We can’t do what we do without our wonderful volunteers!”