PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Because of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels makes less frequent meal deliveries but they include more food.

Suzanne Washington, the executive director of Meals on Wheels People. (KOIN)

“What we learned is people needed more than just the meal,” said Meals on Wheels CEO Suzanne Washington. “So we provide fresh fruit, milk, bread, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, things that really what we felt as older people really needed more food and more variety, so they can put a piece of toast and peanut butter on it in the morning for breakfast. So we just do more meals and more extra food.”

For more than 5 decades, Meals on Wheels People has worked to support seniors and homebound adults all over the Portland metro. Through the years their mission has remained the same as their methods have evolved.

“Our mission is to make sure that we feed every senior who needs it, anybody 60 and older for whatever reason, and that they’re not isolated so that we can connect with them, make sure they are thriving in their own homes, are able to stay in those homes and have choice because they have enough food and human connection to do it,” Washington told KOIN 6 News.

Meals on Wheels preps for Thanksgiving meals

Meals are still made from scratch in their local kitchen. Washington said it’s more than just the meal delivery, so if you’re able to give any of your time there are ways to help.

“Friendly chats you can do on your own from in your own home. It’s super easy. Kids love to do it. So seniors who have both a parent and a child calling sometimes is a really great way to do it. They can do it after school any day of the week,” she said. “Packing bags, though, or cleaning bags at certain sites, helping in the kitchen. Now that our congregates are up and running, those are always great opportunities. You can pick a day and it can be an hour or 2 hours or whatever you want.”

Meals on Wheels People is part of Blues Fest Cares

You can also support Meals on Wheels People at the 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival. Stop by their booth for raffle tickets or take a special blues cruise.

“There’s the sail on Sister Cruise, which is a special cruise,” Washington said. “People can buy a ticket and all those proceeds go back to us as well. Really, come say hello, find out what we’re doing, sign up to be a volunteer, it’ll be great.”

KOIN 6 is a proud partner with the Waterfront Blues Fest