Helping Our Community

Meals on Wheels Chicago is committed to ensuring seniors and individuals with disabilities have the resources they need to maintain quality of life while staying independent in their own homes. MOWC partners with The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to ensure these communities benefit from a variety of programs designed to address food insecurity and isolation while improving accessibility and independence.

The Meals on Wheels program serves homebound seniors 60 or older and individuals with disabilities 18 or older, offering a range of meal options including vegetarian, pureed, and kosher meals.

Seniors: please contact the Department of Family & Support Services Information and Assessment at (312) 744-4016.

Individuals with Disabilities: please contact the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) at (312) 746-5773.

Home Meal Delivery

This program serves over 13,000 seniors and individuals with disabilities, delivering 4.7 million meals a year. Meals are prepared and delivered weekly by Open Kitchens, a Chicago company that is family owned and operated. Meals are planned by a registered dietician using low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sodium ingredients. All meals are freshly prepared and neatly packaged in easy-to-open, recyclable containers and are delivered weekly.

Special meals are delivered on six federal holidays, and clients also routinely receive emergency meal kits that contain shelf-stable food. Other items are periodically donated by corporate partners and included in deliveries to provide special treats.

Meals typically include:  a meat or protein entrée; potato, rice, or pasta side dish; a vegetable side dish; fresh fruit or dessert; juice; milk; bread; margarine and condiments.

Sample Menus

Lemon Herb Crusted Cod
Served with Rice, Green Beans, Italian Blend Vegetables, Whole Grain Bread, Fresh Plum, 1% Milk

Roast Beef
Served with Garbanzo Bean Salad, Baby Carrots, Whole Grain Bread, Fresh Cantaloupe, Fruit Yogurt Cup

Egg Salad
Served with Celery Sticks, Whole Grain Bread, Fresh Honeydew Melon, 100% Fruit Juice, Yogurt Cup

Pureed Meals
Contains at least 21g of protein and are rich in Vitamin A & C. Made small batch, low sodium, no preservatives.

Nourish Chicago, A Meals on Wheels Pantry

Nourish Chicago, A Meals On Wheels Pantry, works to put health on the shelf for seniors aged 60 and older. In partnership with the City of Chicago Central West Senior Center, Nourish Chicago is a client-choice pantry – much like a grocery store – providing food and wellness essentials to seniors monthly. This program addresses the high cost of food, limited transportation to grocery stores, and the difficulty of living on a fixed income that limits a senior’s access to fresh produce and essential items. This model fosters dignity and provides fresh, nutrient-rich groceries and high-quality pantry items giving seniors the autonomy to select the food they enjoy while also reducing food waste.

In response to the reduction in SNAP benefits and the ongoing high cost of food, Meals on Wheels Chicago expanded the Nourish Chicago Pantry by adding Pop Up Produce markets once per month to each of the City of Chicago regional senior centers. These Pop-Up Markets run from March–August of 2023 and help address the needs of an additional 7,650 seniors.

Pet Pack Program

As part of the Nourish Chicago Food Pantry, we are providing animal wellness packs for cats and dogs that include a supply of food, preventative medicine or wellness items, and treats and toys to help take care of the pets that are taking care of their senior owners.

For many seniors, pets keep loneliness at bay. Pets provide comfort, joy, and routine – all important to overall health and well-being. But taking care of a pet can be expensive and some seniors skip meals or choose not to pick up a prescription, so their pets don’t go hungry. By providing a monthly supply of food and supplies, Meals on Wheels Chicago is prioritizing the health of seniors and their pets.

Emergency, Shelf-Stable Meals

When budget allows, Meals on Wheels Chicago provides funding for emergency, shelf-stable meals. These are delivered to all clients to serve as back-up meals if regular delivery service is interrupted by extreme weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Love Notes program

Volunteers make cards that are included in the meal deliveries. This volunteer opportunity is available to everyone from one individual working alone to large corporations. It provides a touchpoint for clients, so they know someone in the community is thinking and cares about their wellbeing.

Wellness Packs

We serve seniors living in every neighborhood of the city, with most struggling on incomes below the poverty level. After paying for the basic fixed expenses, this leaves only $47 per week for essentials like groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and clothing. This additional wellness pack option is to address these struggles while allowing an opportunity for more choices for corporate engagement. Companies contribute to wellness packs that include items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other items to distribute at the Nourish Chicago Pantry.