The history of Mobile Meals of Toledo dates back to the 1960s, when a small group of women set out to establish a home-delivered food program. Their goal was to provide nutritious and tasty food to those who were unable to prepare or obtain adequate meals during periods of convalescing or need. The intention was to serve anyone who would benefit from the program—regardless of income—with an initial emphasis on elderly clients.
Before long, a volunteer corps of thirty women (mostly wives of area physicians and dentists) had established what began as a six-month pilot project. On December 4, 1967, Mobile Meals delivered its first meals to just four clients. But as word of the program spread, demand rapidly increased. In its first three years in operation, Mobile Meals grew to over 500 volunteers and delivered 74,730 meals to 550 clients.
Mobile Meals volunteers were delivering more than meals – they were delivering independence. For many homebound clients, Mobile Meals became their only contact with the outside world, and they relied on the volunteers to check on them daily. It’s that personal contact that our clients and their families still value most about Mobile Meals.
Today, Mobile Meals has over 600 volunteers, who deliver more than 326,000 nutritious meals annually. Since our humble beginnings, we have inspired and helped communities around the country set up their own home-delivered meal programs. And we continue to deliver independence every day.
In 2008, Mobile Meals launched the Weekender Program to provide food to schoolchildren who would otherwise get inadequate nourishment over the weekend. Qualifying students receive a bag of food to take home with them every Friday afternoon during the school year. The Weekender Program helps ensure that students have enough to eat all weekend long so they can come to school Monday morning nourished and ready to learn.
Story by Carolinea Heintz