2.1 Million Meals: Ethos to Run Meals and Wheels and Meals Program for Boston

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Ethos, a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit, was recently chosen to be in charge of the Boston Elder Nutrition Program, which is responsible for providing more than 2.1 million meals to Boston senior citizens per year.

The meals are subsidized by the federal, state and city governments with the goal of providing healthy and nutritious meals through Meals on Wheels to homebound senior citizens to help them stay living independently, and meals in neighborhood settings called Community Cafes.

The Boston Elder Nutrition Program is being made possible through a collaboration between Boston’s Age Strong Commission (formerly the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly), and the elder services non-profits Central Boston Elder Services, Boston Senior Home Care and Ethos, which all working together to bring healthy food to seniors.

Meals on Wheels of America, the advocacy group representing elder nutrition providers, reports that seniors make up 22 percent of the state’s population, with more than 27 percent living alone and 12 percent threatened by hunger, according to a press release.

“For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels and Community Café programs are literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility,” said Dale Mitchell, CEO, Ethos, via press release. “The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with some of the biggest threats of aging including hunger, isolation and the loss of independence. When seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.”

A great thing about the Ethos Meals on Wheels Program is that it caters to many tastes, with menus featuring African American, Asian, Caribbean, Kosher and Russian dishes, as well as traditional American fare. Based on their individual needs, senior citizens may also receive frozen weekend meals, cold meals, as well as nutritional supplements.