Meals on Wheels collaborates with Texas Health Hospital Rockwall

(Front row, from left) Texas Health Hospital Rockwall Registered Dietitians Mary Schoen  and Nichole Anguino, Texas Health Rockwall President Cindy Perrin, Texas Health Rockwall Director of Case Management Ruth Thomas; (back row) Meals on Wheels Executive Director Margie VerHagen and MOWSS Development Director Maureen Cook.

(ROCKWALL, TX – Oct. 10, 2019) Meals on Wheels Senior Services of Rockwall County provides 65,000 nourishing meals to congregate sites, homebound seniors and people with disabilities who are unable to prepare meals for themselves to help maintain their quality of life and independence. The need for MOWSS is only going to increase as the aging population continues to grow.

MOWSS menus and recipes take into consideration the needs, preferences, and dietary requirements of older individuals. Another positive consequence of these assessments and daily meal deliveries is that MOWSS providers are positioned to become sources of referrals to other needed services as well as serving as a daily check-in to ensure everything is satisfactory with respect to a client’s needs. These daily check-ins may be the only contact MOWSS participants have with other people each day. The smiling face at the front door each day from a volunteer can make a world of difference in an older adult’s life.

“MOWSS operates efficiently with respect to costs using a large base of volunteers for deliveries and in-kind contributions from numerous other local organizations – helping to dramatically lower the costs of daily deliveries,” said Margie VerHagen, MOWSS Executive Director.

Older adults’ access to nutritious meals through MOWSS helps reduce hunger and food insecurity by providing meals to individuals who may otherwise struggle to acquire them, while also helping elders improve their nutrient intake. Due to MOWSS receiving federal grant funding, MOWSS programs must adhere to strict guidelines as established by the Older Americans Act (OAA). Each meal must meet one-third of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). A Registered Dietician must also approve these menus. Texas Health Hospital Rockwall Registered Dietitians Nichole Anguiano and Mary Schoen graciously donate their time every month to review the nutritional analysis before finalizing the menus for the congregate sites.

In addition, Texas Health Rockwall has been involved with Meals on Wheels for many years in several other capacities including volunteering and support for the “Meals While You Heal Program.” Some seniors or disabled citizens may be recovering from a hospital stay or illness and will only be on the program for a short period of time and are encouraged to sign up for the MOWSS program by case management. Others might have a long-term need and may receive home-delivered meals on an ongoing basis. Good nutrition is essential for healing, especially wound healing. In addition, the Meals While You Heal Program saves money for hospitals and insurers by avoiding costly re-admissions.

“We are so grateful for Texas Health Rockwall’s continued support. Together we strive to provide meals and education to meet the nutrition needs and supportive services for our seniors. We hope this can help maintain a healthy and happy quality of life for the seniors in Rockwall County for years to come,” said VerHagen.

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