Meals on Wheels San Antonio works to eliminate hunger, decrease isolation and foster independence among seniors by providing meals, companionship and Alzheimer’s care. Each weekday, the nonprofit prepares and delivers a meal and a social call to more than 4,500 seniors in need. If the nonprofit reaches 500 votes, the $5,000 donation they’ve already earned doubles to $10,000!
Providing more than a meal
Along with delivering nutritious meals directly to seniors, Meals on Wheels helps provide the gift of self-sufficiency. Its work enables older and disabled people to remain healthy and independent in their own homes. This further allows seniors to avoid expensive and invasive healthcare alternatives such as unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations and nursing home placements.
Founded in 1977, Meals on Wheels began as a small program serving 20 clients a year. Today, it delivers more than 1.5 million meals to about 7,000 seniors annually across south-central Texas. Along with preparing and delivering meals, the nonprofit offers a range of supporting programs including AniMeals, Friendly Visitor, Comfy Casas and Grace Place Alzheimer’s Services.
The AniMeals service offers pet wellness services and delivers monthly pet food to seniors who would otherwise risk their own health to share their meals with their companion pets. Friendly Visitor provides much-needed social engagement to homebound seniors and disabled neighbors by pairing a client with a volunteer who regularly visits, calls and sends mail.
The Comfy Casas service enables clients to safely age in place by addressing their living conditions and home safety needs and doing free minor home repairs and modifications. Grace Place Alzheimer’s Services provides socialization and activities for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or related diseases.
“We love what Meals on Wheels does for our fragile senior population and we’re proud to support their work,” said Joy Larson, CEO of SWBC Insurance Services. “And delivering food is just the beginning. Since many recipients live alone, Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers also take the time to visit and brighten their day with compassion and companionship.”
“We love what Meals on Wheels does for our fragile senior population and we’re proud to support their work.” – Joy Larson, CEO, SWBC Insurance Services
A team effort
Through its foundation, SWBC Insurance Services has supported Meals on Wheels in many ways since 2000. It’s a true team effort with all 40 SWBC employees pitching in. Its staff helps by delivering meals to seniors twice a week, organizing an annual golf tournament the company started in 2021, donating money and volunteering time as needed. In addition, Larson has served on the board of directors of Meals on Wheels.
In 2019, SWBC gifted a branded delivery van to the nonprofit that it uses to deliver meals to those in need throughout San Antonio. And in 2022, the agency donated $10,000 to assist with Meals on Wheel’s Winter Storm Kit Delivery Event, which included dropping off a week’s worth of food to about 4,500 seniors in the community.
Partnership during the pandemic
During the pandemic, Meals on Wheels saw a reduction in volunteers, especially from corporate volunteer groups. “We are so grateful that SWBC was one of the first corporate teams to come back and volunteer as the pandemic eased,” said Vinsen Faris, Chief Executive Officer of Meals on Wheels San Antonio. “Their dedication during these uncertain times ensures that our senior neighbors continue to receive the care and nutrition they need.”
“We are so grateful that SWBC was one of the first corporate teams to come back and volunteer as the pandemic eased. Their dedication ensures that our senior neighbors continue to receive the care and nutrition they need.” – Vinsen Faris, Chief Executive Officer, Meals on Wheels San Antonio
Care and companionship for the most vulnerable
A $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance would help Meals on Wheels San Antonio prepare and deliver meals to 4,500 clients in the San Antonio community. In addition, the grant would also help with their support programs, such as the Grace Place Alzheimer’s Services, and continue to provide resources to families living with dementia. Help SWBC Insurance Services win another $5,000 for Meals on Wheels San Antonio by cheering them on with a vote!
If your agency volunteers with a 501(c)3 nonprofit, learn how you can win a Make More Happen Award here.