Meals on Wheels America as an Agent of Change

Meals on Wheels America as an Agent of Change

Abstract

The nonprofit organizations (NPO) serve as potential agents of the communities and address the problems to a higher level by advocating policy. The paper aims at researching Meals on Wheels Association of America, which is a nonprofit organization that provides various programs across the country to maintain and improve health outcomes of the elderly population. The expected growth of population with increasing number of seniors emphasizes the need to ensure support and care for the latter. The data were collected through the Internet sources. The most important items such as the main purpose of the NPO, whether it was created prior to the social movement or not, how the problem perceived, and the strategies and approaches used to advocate for policy are assessed based on the data obtained through the Internet. The collected information points out that the NPO has evolved to a great social movement that pledges its support to more than 2.4 million people across the United States. By advocating important issues such as ending sequestration, protecting the Older Americans Act, supporting proposals to modify the tax, and reinforcing and protecting federal support, Meals on Wheels serves as an agent of change for the elderly population.

Keywords: nonprofit organization, policy advocacy, seniors, community

 

Meals on Wheels America as Agent of Change

Nonprofit organizations usually serve as agents for society to accomplish the objectives in various areas such as health protection, legal aid as well as other purposes aimed at achieving overall public well-being. These volunteer bodies provide goods and services, which are considered desirable in the society. They combine efforts of citizens, organizations, and a state to address the most important problems of the humankind. The paper aims at investigating the Meals on Wheels Association of America, which runs different programs in nearly every community across the United States. First, the overall data concerning the organization and its mission will be discussed. Thereafter, the paper will explore a specific call for change advocated by the Meals on Wheels and its strategy to advocate for policy. The final part of the paper will focus on results achieved by NPO.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America is associated with the social movement, which serves in communities through the network of the local programs across the country (Meals on Wheels America, n.d.). The main social call of the organization is to support senior neighbors as well as to help them remain healthy and have a nourished life in their homes (Meals on Wheels America, n.d.). The diversity of services may vary based on the needs of the community. Volunteers, sponsors and donors work together on the same goal with the additional funding from Older Americans Act. Primarily, the NPO is focused on a special care for the elderly who have difficulties in daily life with doing grocery shopping and preparing meals or have problems when communicating with others. Prevalently, the programs the Meals on Wheels America use provide help to adults of 60 years old and over; however, the requirements to the age may depend on the specific program or the area in which it is served. The Meals on Wheels Association of America ensures attentive care of the elderly, tracks the health conditions and safety of the seniors, and establishes respectful companionship. Depending on person's abilities, the organization either brings the service home or serves in senior centers or community facilities.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America cares about most vulnerable and disabled populations as well as offers the ways to improve health outcomes by giving a hand of help to the seniors. The special initiative of the organization is Meals on Wheels Health that unites the national network. Its services have efficiently influenced the health of the seniors and their overall quality of life. Millions of clients decrease the risks that could bring them to the costs of nursing facilities or hospitals. While visiting the clients, the volunteers help them to reduce the feeling of isolation and depression by providing the human contact. It includes a friendly talk, the awareness of the customer’s health conditions, and the assessment of the home environment. However, the most important support of the seniors is providing them with nutritious home-delivered meals.

The historic background of the Meals on Wheels nonprofit organization and its elderly nutrition programs trace the roots back to Great Britain during the World War II (NorthWest Senior and Disability Services, n.d.). During the hostilities, the majority of people lost their homes and could not cook meals for themselves and their families. The special Volunteer Service that provided civil defense started preparing and delivering meals to their hungry neighbors and families around the neighborhood. Moreover, the women from the Service supplied servicemen with refreshments which they brought in canteens. The canteens later became known as “Meals on Wheels.” Thus, the first volunteer nutrition program started working. Afterwards, the United States established its meal program, and gradually, the nonprofit organization was created because of a social mobility that has evolved into one of the largest social movements in the country. First, it was a small program serving only seven seniors whereas nowadays, hundreds of programs help millions of elderly with disabilities or at-risk persons across the United States. The first home-delivered meal program was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1954. The daily menu included a hot meal at lunch time as well as a sandwich with milk and varying side dishes for dinner. Based on the ability of the seniors to pay, the fee was from 40 to 80 cents per day. The program charged a fee in order to cover some expenses and to maintain seniors' sense of dignity. Originally, the program was designed for a specific part of the community, which needed help. The main task was to identify those who were really in need of services and home-delivered meals. The Lighthouse of Philadelphia turned to the hospital social services and the Department of Public Assistance because they had an access to the medical records and could identify the potential clients.

Guarantees
Email delivery
Email delivery

Your paper is uploaded to your account and you get a copy delivered by email.

Wide range of services
Wide range of services

Your get wide range of high quality services from our professional team.

Authentic papers
Authentic papers

All papers are written from scratch up to your instructions

Privacy guarantee
Privacy guarantee

No personal data is ever disclosed to any third parties.

Deadline meeting
Deadline meeting

Any paper ordered will be delivered strictly according to the deadline.

Satisfaction guarantee
Satisfaction guarantee

All our customer are totally satisfied with their orders.

No plagiarism
No plagiarism

All papers you order are plagiarism free.

24/7 customer support
24/7 customer support

Our Support Representatives are at your service 24/7 365 days a year.

Free revision
Free revision

Each customer has 48 hours after deadline expires to get paper revised.

The main issue that Meals on Wheels America perceives is providing rigorous care and support for the seniors. The organization is fighting for the needs of the elderly and ensuring the ability of the community to meet the requirements of the growing number of seniors who need support. Over the upcoming years, an increase of the population is expected; therefore, the number of seniors will be growing, as well (Bertolette, 2015). It is important to help the elderly in order to maintain their health avoiding expensive nursing home placement or healthcare plans by providing them care and support. Everyone can benefit by saving billions of dollars due to the public-private partnerships that support such NPOs, in particular, the Meals on Wheels Association of America.

Although not all of the nonprofits perceive advocacy to be a part of the organization’s main purpose, the reasons indicate a significant need to be engaged in advocacy for the mission advantage. The nonprofit sector usually represents almost every aspect of the American society. Nonprofit organizations promote values, interests, and preferences of a population that may consider social, business or religious services (Rahn-Tiemeyer, 2015). Meals on Wheels advocates advancing legislation and policies that strengthen programs such as home-delivered program with the help of volunteers who serve for seniors. Without programs such as Meals on Wheels Association of America and their support, the majority of the elderly would be forced to move out from their homes and live in nursing facilities. The affordable service of Meals on Wheels can provide a senior with services for the entire year, which saves money that could be spent on Medicaid or other healthcare services. The greatest threats to every elderly person are isolation, loss of independence, and hunger. Ensuring the right support will help to improve the quality of seniors' life. The Meals on Wheels provides the nutritious meals and friendly visits to check whether the help is needed. It makes communities stronger and self-sufficient.

One of the most important issues that Meals on Wheels fights for is ending sequestration and making federal funding for Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs be more sustainable. The failure of federal funding arose because it was hard to deal with the growth of senior population who needed balanced and healthy meals. Due to the economic downturn, increased costs on transportation and food were hardly covered. The programs provided by Meals on Wheels were hit hard in 2013 by cuts known as sequestration (Cook, 2013). The threat of returning such cuts is real unless the government acts this year. The country already experiences the reduced delivery days, extended waiting lists, fewer meals and even closure of some programs.

Another issue is protecting and reinforcing the Older Americans Act that is an essential legislation supporting all social services and nutrition for older generation starting from 60. The programs provided by the Act include home-delivered meals as well as congregate meals. They are vital for the elderly who might be at risk of a hunger or lose their ability to live the rest of the life with dignity. During 2013, the Older Americans Act supported delivery of nearly 219 million meals to more than 2.4 million people in old age across the country (Meals on Wheels America, n.d.).

One more legislative issue is supporting proposals to modify the tax code and increase donations. One of the fundamental elements of every Meals on Wheels program are donations of volunteers. The significant contribution in the form of services or various goods to financial support is highly valuable. Thus, the adoption of the modified tax code may increase donations for the programs for elderly in need. In addition, the aged are struggling with hunger nowadays. Such programs as the Emergency Food Assistance Program or Commodity Supplement Food Program can provide grocery or food assistance for seniors. Therefore, other federal nutrition programs should become more accessible.

Meals on Wheels Association of America is constantly reinforcing and protecting the federal support by advocating and making efforts to bring the changes in the decision-making process of public policy and the legislative process. The advocacy of the organization includes various types of activities that refer to either insider or outsider strategies (Teles, et al, 2011). For example, demonstrations or protests are classic outsider strategies whereas the insider ones refer to private meetings with politicians. In case of Meals on Wheels, the policy advocacy is based on encouraging the members to write or call to government offices. The list of various acts that everyone can take in order to raise a voice and help advocate for the policies is on the official website. Moreover, the latter includes different templates, flyers, guides, and handouts in case one might want to help and advocate for the policy to address the problem. Using the tools such as social media, the organization encourages spreading a word about Meals on Wheels and that its mission to save lives is important. No negative repercussions against NPO were identified during the research on Meals on Wheels. The Venn diagram, in which the NPO is in the center of the three intersecting circles, indicates that nonprofit organizations play a key role in the bringing changes to the society and advocating improving the overall public well-being.

In conclusion, nonprofit organizations address the complex problems of the entire society and find the right solutions to them. Due to services provided to the vulnerable minorities of the society, the nonprofit organizations meet the needs of the community and bring the changes by advocating the most important problems. The main aspects of the nonprofit organization were identified by using the example of Meals on Wheels America organization. The combination of the efforts made by citizens, the help of the volunteers, donations, and the aim to provide the elderly with the good service lead to overall improvement. The social movement, which joined the entire country, contributes to the legislation process and decision-making processes which reflect on the better outcome for the seniors, at-risk persons, or disabled people.


Go to our Order Page if you want to buy essay help on this or any other topic.

Live Chat
Online