The mission of Meals on Wheels Chicago is to ensure that Chicago seniors and individuals with disabilities benefit from programs that improve their quality of life and maximize independence.


Meals on Wheels Chicago envisions a community in which all basic needs are met and barriers to achieving independence are eliminated. We achieve this by raising both funds and awareness to support home meal delivery to eligible senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Even the fortunate among us, as we age, will experience a decline in mobility and health which strips us of our independence and diminishes our quality of life. Advances in medicine have extended life expectancies to record highs. One-quarter of today’s 65-year-olds will live beyond the age of 90, and their daily chores will turn into insurmountable challenges. Maintaining health while aging comes at a price. Without support from programs like Meals on Wheels Chicago, seniors are forced to trade their homes for nursing facilities.


The Chicago Fund on Aging and Disability DBA Meals on Wheels Chicago (MoWC) is a non-profit organization established in 1987 by a group of community leaders, concerned citizens, and the City of Chicago, to address the unmet nutritional needs for the city’s homebound seniors.  For Thanksgiving in 1988 we delivered our first holiday meal to 1,218 homebound seniors. Now in our 35th year, the meal program serves over 4.7 million meals per year. We raise funds through special events, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and individual support.

In the early 1990s, Meals on Wheels Chicago’s programming expanded to include the funding of an Assistive Technology Program through the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.  Assistive Technology is the provision of home modifications, personal devices, or equipment that will assist an individual with disabilities to become more independent.

In 2013, MoWC launched the Home Delivered Meals for Individuals (HDMID) with Disabilities Program.  Modeled after our Holiday Meals Program, this new program is focused on alleviating hunger for individuals with disabilities under the age of 60 who are unable to obtain meals from another source, shop, or prepare meals for themselves.

In 2017, the board adopted a new strategic plan to better serve food-insecure seniors and to expand home-delivered meals for individuals with disabilities, to serve the increasing number of food-insecure people with disabilities.  As a result, the Home Modification program was phased out to allow us to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving delivered meals.

Moving forward, we rely on the generosity of the Chicagoland community to support our efforts to offer peace of mind to the thousands of seniors and individuals with disabilities whose simple wish is to find food security, independence, and self-sufficiency in their homes and communities.

Addressing Food Insecurity

Hunger among seniors is growing with millions of seniors in the United States struggling with food insecurity. The pandemic exacerbated this situation, leading to more seniors experiencing hunger and loneliness than ever before.

Both people of color and people living with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, with Black seniors experiencing hunger at more than double the rate of white seniors, and for those with a disability, the rate of food insecurity is almost three times higher than for those without a disability.

Seniors often rely on social security to pay for expenses during retirement but find it’s not enough. Among unmarried seniors, 46 percent don’t believe they have sufficient funds for basic food needs. Social security payments are expected to decrease by 20 percent in 2034 and will continue to diminish over time, further straining social safety net programs like Meals on Wheels Chicago.

The Meals on Wheels program provides so much more than a meal. Our program reduces hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition, promotes socialization, and improves the health and well-being of older adults. Deliveries offer our drivers the opportunity to interact with clients, offering friendly conversation and vital safety checks. Loneliness and isolation are as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and 84 percent of our clients tell us their delivery driver is the only social contact they have all week, making deliveries an important part of the day for clients who live alone.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters there has never been a waitlist for the Meals on Wheels Chicago program. Your donations help alleviate hunger and isolation today while also helping us prepare for the coming years when the number of seniors who need help is expected to grow. Your support ensures our homebound neighbors have the resources they need to stay healthy and independent in their own homes.