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Meals on Wheels: Growing Demand Requires Better Solutions

Meals on Wheels is a service that will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes, they provide essential nourishment to vulnerable individuals. Yes, the volunteers offer much-needed companionship to the elderly. But the reason Meals on Wheels means so much to me is because when I accompanied my mom on her Meals on Wheels delivery trips, it meant she LET ME SKIP SCHOOL.

For context, in the 80s, nobody talked about mental health days. If I wanted to stay home from school (which typically happened when my hair wasn’t complying with that perfect three-foot lift I was looking for), I needed a rash covering my entire body, an open wound, or proof of a temperature above 99 degrees. I’ll admit that I was not above trying the whole thermometer in the lamp trick. Look, I never said I was a good person. My mom was the one who loved to volunteer; it’s not a genetic trait.

Apparently, when my brother tried to stay home from school, all my mom would have to say is, “You can stay home, but you have to deliver food with me,” and his stomach ache would magically disappear. I, on the other hand, loved Meals on Wheels days. It was fun watching my mom waltz into people’s houses as if she were family, chatting comfortably with her regulars, setting up their meals for them. As a massive fan of TV dinners and airplane meals, I’ve always gotten immense enjoyment opening – or, in this case, observing others open – pre-packaged meals. Would it be pasta or chicken? Would there be chocolate cake? Would the nice lady offer me a piece of candy since I’m basically taking a sick day to visit her and watch her eat?

All of this background hopefully sets the scene so you can understand my excitement when I learned that my employer, Provisio Partners, has developed a solution for Meals on Wheels programs! I immediately contacted my colleague to learn more about what we were offering. Despite being visibly frightened by my level of enthusiasm, she was kind enough to share her knowledge.

It may not be surprising to learn that there is a greater demand for Meals on Wheels services because of Covid. In order to meet these expanding needs, many food security programs are switching to frozen meals. While this allows them to deliver more meals, the logistics have become more complicated, requiring more planning. Administering Meals on Wheels programs using Salesforce as the CRM platform will enable programs to track deliveries more easily and customize meal plans. Some other helpful functionality we have developed will allow you to do the following:

  • Track Meal Suspensions
  • Log Substitutions
  • Complete the Intake Process
  • Create Assessments
  • Track Funding Sources
  • View Meal Projection Reports

Many agencies maintain two or more systems and find it helpful to switch to one central application, which is especially useful for reporting purposes. If you are looking for a comprehensive data solution, contact Provisio Partners to learn how we can assist with your Meals on Wheels needs. My aforementioned sick days (cough, cough) aside, we are a trustworthy and dedicated group of consultants ready to deliver your solution!

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