Meals on Wheels Chicago

One Year Ago Today Our World Changed


March 11, 2021: Today, I want to take a few moments to reflect on the past year. We’ve lost loved ones, celebrated major life events – virtually or not at all, postponed decisions, lost jobs, struggled with stress and anxiety, baked bread, and somehow ran out of things to watch.

Everyone has made adjustments. Isolation has become the new normal and has given us a better understanding of the loneliness our homebound senior clients experience. The essential workers who prep and deliver meals got used to new safety standards, learned to interact with clients from a distance, and accepted the risks associated with their important jobs. For our team it’s been 12 months of 2D Zoom meetings and long hours embracing the word “pivot” in order to adjust to the extreme increase in need. And for our clients it has meant more fear, worry, need, and isolation.

But thanks to the incredible generosity of you, the many who offered to help, it did not mean empty stomachs. 

In response to the crisis, the Meals on Wheels Chicago program expanded by 67% almost overnight – the largest increase in our organization’s history. We turned to you – our donors, corporate partners, and foundations – to help feed more people, and you responded with incredible generosity and love! Not once did we have to turn someone away that needed help putting food on the table or in their pantry, and for that we are eternally grateful.

Together, through these dark and uncertain times, our collective actions have shown the power of community: as long as we lean on each other and act with compassion and empathy, there is light even in the darkness. Thank you for rising to the occasion and caring for Chicago’s homebound seniors and people with disabilities.

Meals on Wheels Chicago is marking tomorrow as the start of a New Year. We know the fight isn’t over and there are still so many that need our help. We know things have not returned to “normal,” but we endeavor to be more grateful for the relationships we have and the time we have been given on this earth to serve those in need. Thank you for helping make things better for the most vulnerable among us.

Our work continues.

With gratitude,

Elise Geiger
Executive Director
Meals on Wheels Chicago