Changes Are Coming To Meals On Wheels In Richland County

Recently, the Richland County Commission on Aging has made many of changes to the local Meals on Wheels program. The program has served the elderly in the community well for many years but with changes in the supporting entities these past few years it has been difficult to keep it running smoothly.

According to the Meals on Wheels website,, the first known U.S. delivery by a small group of Philadelphia citizens with the same goal as Meals on Wheels was in 1954. In 1972, President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This legislation supported the rapid growth of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels. In past years, the Meals on Wheels program in Richland County was run in conjunction with the Sidney Health Center. They put together and cooked the meals that were taken by volunteers to seniors throughout the area. Jodi Berry, Commission on Aging Director, said "We are very grateful to the Sidney Health Center for doing Meals on Wheels all these years. They've done a great job but with staffing issues and the rising costs of everything we've come to a mutual agreement to find another solution." Sidney Health Center's contract with Meals on Wheels expired June 30 of this year but they decided to continue making the meals until a better solution could be found.

A new solution finally came along. Teresa Larson is the head cook for the senior centers in Sidney and Fairview. She has worked for the county for many years. She has already been cooking at the senior centers for a decade and would be willing to make extras for the program. Teresa has more of a home cooked style of cooking than the Sidney Health Center and is known for her generous portions. She cooks four days a week and for Thursdays, her day off, Meals on Wheels will provide a meal frozen from the day before. Unfortunately, Meals on Wheels cannot accommodate special diets such as gluten or lactose-free but clients can get a Homestyle Direct meal delivered to their door seven days a week. They can also have them brought by Meals on Wheels so they can get a little social interaction. Meals on Wheels is prepared to work with their clients on this. Homestyle Direct is an online meal order company geared towards seniors.

The changes will start on Sept.1 and are coming up on many of the programs that Richland County's Commission on Aging works on. Visit Richland County Commission Aging's Facebook page or their website,, to keep up on what is happening.


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