Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOW of Tampa) is a community-funded organization that is expanding its services to residents of Riverview and Gibsonton this June. Applications from residents who are in need of meals will be taken in mid-May. Volunteers (18 years and older) for drive routes and deliver meals will also be accepted.
Because MOW of Tampa is an independent organization and accepts no government funding, it is able to accept any resident, regardless of age and income. If you or a loved one encounter difficulties getting out of the home or preparing meals due to mental or physical disability or age, MOW of Tampa can help.
They provide chef-created hot meals Monday through Friday with frozen meals delivered on Friday for the weekend. MOW of Tampa also delivers fresh fruit and vegetables on the third Saturday of the month. In May, a hurricane preparedness package, including five shelf-stable meals, is delivered along with shelter information. At Thanksgiving, recipients receive a treat bag, and in December, a great gift bag is given. Birthdays are celebrated with a card and a little something extra.
MOW of Tampa is unique in that it fills in gaps where other agencies are unable to help. Specifically, MOW of Tampa has no financial or citizenship requirements, and it accepts residents of any age. No referral is needed.
MOW of Tampa uses a sliding scale in determining if a recipient will pay for their meals. The cost is $5.50 per meal. However, residents may, depending on their income/expenses, pay as little as $.50 or nothing. No one is ever turned away due to inability to pay.
The intake process takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes, and, if approved, services can begin the next day. If a homebound individual has a pet, MOW of Tampa will refer them to the Humane Society of Tampa, and its mobile unit will come out with food for the pet.
Cindy Vann, senior director of mission engagement, said, “MOW of Tampa allows senior and other homebound residents to live independently in their homes with good, healthy, nutritious food and social contact almost every day.” Vann added, “We have the most wonderful volunteers in the world. They connect with people who are often forgotten.”
For more information and to apply for meals or become a volunteer, visit www.MOWTampa.org or call 238-8410.