"The meals are very good for this 85-year-old lady. I thank God for them and for the good cooks."
What is Mobile Meals?
Mobile Meals is the Meals on Wheels program in Knoxville and Knox County TN. The Mobile Meals program serves:
- Noon meals
- Five days a week and holidays
- To Knoxville and Knox County citizens
- Who are at least 60 years old
- Who cannot cook for themselves and have no one to prepare meals for them
Who Receives Mobile Meals?
- Most are very old: More than 60 percent are over 85; many are in their 90s.
- Most live alone and have no one to help them.
- Many have low incomes, but one does not have to be poor to need and receive Mobile Meals. Many meal recipients pay for a portion or all of their meals.
Who Pays for Mobile Meals?
- Each person who receives a meal is asked to contribute toward the cost, with the suggested contribution based on income.
- About 345 meals per day are provided through federal and state grants.
- Another 128 meals per day are paid for by Knox County government, and 40 meals per day from the City of Knoxville.
- United Way funds provide 109 meals per day.
- Additional meals are provided through the generosity of individuals, businesses and foundations.
- Donated time of volunteers who deliver meals is a crucial resource. More are needed.
Why Does Mobile Meals Need Help?
Home-delivered meals help the very old and frail continue to live independently in their own homes. Their numbers, especially those over 85, are growing fast. East Tennesseans are fiercely proud of their independence, but some things can't be done alone.
Until recently, the Mobile Meals program was able to serve only those in the most dire need. In fact, by the time the program could serve them, most of the seniors were so frail that they soon had to be hospitalized or go into a nursing home. Thanks to funds from Knox County government, the program is now trying to reach seniors before they get into a medical crisis, allowing them to remain independent in their own homes longer.
The program needs more volunteers to deliver meals. Currently, paid staff are delivering some of the meal routes, which increases program costs.
How Can You Help Mobile Meals?
Donate Funds: Build Mobile Meals into your annual budget. Any amount helps. Pledge a monthly or quarterly amount to “Adopt A Senior” on Mobile Meals. It only costs $820 to feed an elderly person for an entire year, or $68 per month.
Make a contribution to Mobile Meals in honor or in memory of someone special. Acknowledgment of your gift will be sent as you designate.
Volunteer Time: Deliver meals between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., once a month, once a week, or as often as your schedule permits. Total delivery time varies with one- or two-hour routes available.
For more information, for a speaker, or to volunteer, call 524-2786.