Meals on Wheels, a program of UR Medicine Home Care, is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018.
UR Medicine Home Care, formerly Visiting Nurse Service, established the Meals on Wheels program in 1958. It has since served almost 11 million meals throughout Monroe County.
The idea of meals being delivered to people’s homes can trace its roots back to World War II. The city of Rochester became the third in the country to start a home-delivered meal program on March 15, 1958, in a kitchen located at East Avenue.
The program originally was a pilot project initiated by the New York Department of Health, and administered by VNS.
VNS charged participants fees ranging from 50 cents to $1.85 per meal for dues. New York Department of Health’s Bureau of Chronic Diseases and Geriatrics paid the remaining costs. Four cars were used to deliver the meals. By the end of the year, 47 people enrolled in the program.
Meals on Wheels plans to celebrate this occasion throughout 2018 with multiple events and programs to help raise awareness and funds. On April 24, Meals on Wheels will host a special fundraiser to celebrate 60 years with guest celebrities.
Meals on Wheels delivered 216,817 meals in to 1,409 recipients in Monroe County, with the assistance of 1,900 volunteers in 2017.