Home Delivered Program

The Home Delivered meal program began forty five years ago and is the only non-profit meal delivery program serving the entire state of Rhode Island. Currently, this program provides up to 5 noontime meals per week to approximately 1,500 to qualified individuals.  The meals are delivered primarily by our dedicated team of over 1,000 volunteers.

To speak with someone our services and receiving meals or for more information regarding this program, please call our Home Delivery department at 351-6700 or e-mail dbrissette@rimeals.org.

Who Can Receive Meals On Wheels?

There are 4 basic requirements that need to be met in order to be considered for the Meal Program.

  1. The person must be unable to cook because of a physical or psychological reason.
  2. The person must live alone or have no help preparing meals during the day.
  3. The person must be 60 years of age or older or be on a DEA or DHS Waiver program.
  4. The person must be homebound and unable to get out on their own.

There are always circumstances that sometimes allow us to serve those people who need services but do not meet all of our requirements. If an elder lives with someone who works full time, we do, at times, provide respite for the family. If the person does not live alone but lives with an elderly spouse, we will, at times, serve the spouse who is ill giving some respite to the well spouse. In all cases, a referral must be made to our office by either fax or phone. The referral process takes approximately 15 minutes. All information listed on the referral form must be completed. Specific diagnosis regarding medical conditions is critical since the more information that is given, the better understanding we have regarding the recipient’s limitations and condition.

Who Should Call In My Referral For Meals on Wheels?

We accept information from a wide variety of sources. Family members and friends are the most frequent callers to our office. Discharge planners, social workers, doctors, nurses, home health aides and neighbors are all typical people who call in referrals. As long as the person calling has all of the information required it does not matter who makes the call.

How Much Will Meals on Wheels Cost?

We receive funding from both the federal and state government through the Division of Elderly Affairs, but we do rely heavily on donations from meal recipients and private donors. Our suggested donation is $3.00 per meal, which amounts to $15.00 per week.  Regardless of your “donation” you will continue to receive meals. If you are unable to make a donation for your meal on a regular basis, we ask that you give what you can when you can as every little bit helps. We do accept cash, checks and money orders. Checks should be made payable to Meals on Wheels of RI, Inc. Donations are typically collected on Fridays. Donations may also be mailed to the following address. Meals on Wheels of RI, Inc., 70 Bath Street, Providence, RI 02908.   We also work closely with the RI Department of Human Services in providing services to clients on the Waiver programs. The Waiver Program pays for the cost of the meal for qualified recipients. If you think you might be eligible for the Waiver program, please contact your social worker or DEA or DHS.

What does a Meal include?

The meal will arrive in two parts. The first portion is delivered in a three-compartment tray which can be safely heated in a microwave or conventional oven (not a toaster oven). The meal usually consists of a main entree, potatoes, rice or pasta, and a vegetable. We also provide each recipient with a cold pack, which contains milk or juice, bread, dessert. The meals are prepared with no added salt or sugar and are not heavily seasoned.

A sample menu for a day would be:

  • Meatloaf with gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Gelatin (diet dessert is available upon request)
  • 1% milk (can be substituted for juice or whole milk)
  • Bread

Do You Provide Special Diets?

We do provide some special diets. There are certain areas of Providence, Pawtucket, Cranston and Warwick where we provide Kosher Meals. Substitutions are made for diabetics where desserts are concerned. We are also able to make some substitutions for the main entree. A chopped meal is available for those people who are unable to cut their meal. We are unable to offer therapeutic meals at this time (e.g. salt free, diverticulitis, lactose free, low cholesterol or fat free).

How Is My Meal Delivered?

We currently have approximately 100 routes throughout the state. Most routes are delivered by volunteers utilizing their own cars. The volunteers are instructed to pick up the meals for delivery around 10:30 am. They are usually finished delivering by 1:00 pm. In several communities we have paid drivers who deliver up to 68 meals a day utilizing Meals on Wheels vehicles. The drivers begin delivering around 9:00 am and finish at approximately 2:00 pm. It is safe to say that you should have your meal before 2:00 pm every day, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.

Do You Deliver on Weekends?

No. We only serve meals Monday through Friday.   The agency is closed for the following holidays:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Victory Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

Can I Tip My Delivery Person?

We ask that you please do not tip the delivery person with money. They will gladly accept food or drink.

Once I Have Been Referred for Meals, How Long Will It Be Before I Will Receive A Meal?

Unfortunately, we do have a waiting list for service.  The waiting period for meals can be anywhere from one week to months depending on the need for service in your area.

If My Doctor Calls, Will My Name be Moved Up On The Waiting List?

We will gladly accept any additional information your doctor or nurse may provide, but you will still be considered along with all of the other people waiting in your area. We have to look at all of the circumstances surrounding each case in order to make our decision on who should get meals next. We will not put someone on to receive meals unless we feel they meet the eligibility requirements.

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