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Western PA's Meals On Wheels Expanding Service, Adjusting Programs

An additional 2,200 senior citizens in the Pittsburgh region will be served as part of a long term development plan for the Meals on Wheels program. A $60,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will assist the senior nutrition group in helping nearly twice as many people as it currently does.

Marc Bloomingdale, President and CEO of the Lutheran Service Society, which runs the program, said the grant has helped them assess where the organization stands and what it hopes to accomplish in the future.

"When we applied for that, it was really around trying to identify how we could procure food for our Meals on Wheels program, food and supplies at a much better rate than what we had been," Bloomingdale said.

He added no current programs will be cut, but they will be reevaluated and changed if necessary. "What we came out of with that, that piece, was that by combining a couple of our programs, we're a program in a subsidiary corporation, that we could actually drastically increase the amount of donated and rescued food," Bloomingdale said.

The program has already implemented a few changes. Bloomingdale said so far the feedback has been positive. "Every test that we have done with our clients have just raved about, actually the increase in the quality of our food, because when you're using this type of product, it's all, or most of it, from scratch, fresh food cooking, whereas before we were using box products that were much more expensive, not nearly as nutritious and not nearly as tasty," Bloomingdale said.