Mountain Meals on Wheels (MMOW) board members, coordinators and drivers, gathered for a luncheon in the Rose Garden, at Mountains Community Hospital, on September 20th, to recognize the MMOW volunteers and thank our hospital for their support. Approximately 50 members enjoyed a delicious lunch, prepared and served by MCH’s Nutritional Services Supervisor, deLynn Walker. MMOW board members present included newly elected President, Ianita Wagner, Vice President and volunteer coordinator, Gwen Meshorer, Treasurer, Wilma Rexwinkel, Recording Secretary, Ann Berman and Co-Recipient Coordinators, Diane Reed and Debbie McAdam, and past president, Jack Cooperman.

Mountain Meals on Wheels is a non-profit, volunteer organization that delivers meals to members of our community, who are unable to prepare or shop for their food. This is usually due to illness, convalescence or frailty.  Those persons with physical or cognitive disabilities are also recipients of this program. All recipients must have a medical referral from a physician or medical facility.

MCH charges a reduced rate per meal to support the organization’s efforts and recipients are asked to pay a nominal fee. Those unable to afford the meals may qualify for a subsidy.  Payments received typically cover only one third of the total meal cost.

Mountain Meals on Wheels does not receive any federal funding. In April of each year, the organization holds its annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction at the Twin Peaks Senior Center, which is essential to providing funds for the group’s expenses. The remaining expenses are covered by the organization’s other fundraising efforts and donations from local businesses, organizations and individual donors. MCH supports this fundraising event by donating portions of the food.

An array of tasks are performed by the dedicated board members and drivers: interview potential meal recipients, recruiting and coordinating drivers, arranging food and special needs with MCH, and providing occasional check-ups on the welfare of home-bound recipients.

The hospital provides meals Monday through Friday, year round. Meals are picked up at the hospital, under deLynn’s supervision.  MCH’s Registered Dietician, Cindy Beeman, oversees the program to ensure a healthy and wholesome meal.  Meals can be customized, within limits, to accommodate food allergies or diabetic requirements and are delivered by our MMOW volunteer delivery team.

Meals are delivered to San Bernardino mountain communities, from Cedar Pines Park/Valley of Enchantment to Green Valley Lake. Most volunteers are scheduled to drive once each week.  Schedulers work to assign drivers a route closest to where they live on the mountain.  Requirements include a valid California Driver’s License and valid liability insurance on the driver’s vehicle.

Persons interested in giving back to our community, meeting new people or helping the elderly and disabled are encouraged to find out more about this most worthwhile and necessary organization on our mountain. You can contact Gwen Meshorer at (310) 926-1030 or email at volunteer@mountainmealsonwheels.org or visit the website at www.mountainmealsonwheels.org.