August 17, 2016
Elder Advocates Call for More Social Services
The scary but inescapable question of how America will find the means to care for a massive wave of aging baby boomers may be inching closer to a workable answer. But it will require smashing and replacing the current "medical model" of addressing older adults' health needs only when they lapse into an expensive crisis mode that requires repeated hospital procedures.

Elder policy leaders James Firman, left, Jeff Johnson, Anne Montgomery and Bob Blancato speak Tuesday, August 9th at the Florida Council on Aging's annual meeting in Orlando. STAFF PHOTO/BARBARA PETERS SMITH

It also means social service agencies that have historically supported elders must transform themselves from an endangered species into a vital driver of new community networks for healthy aging - or get out of the way. Read More. 
NANASP Member Profile


Location(s) served:
Erie County, NY; ancillary meals throughout New York and Pennsylvania

Program Type:
Home-Delivered Meals, Congregate Dining, Ancillary Meal Services

Program Size/Additional Details: Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc. produced 1.3 million meals in 2015 and will produce an estimated 1,332,037 in 2016. Nearly 900,000 were delivered to 3,600 homebound seniors and disabled individuals, and approximately 250,000 meals were taken to congregate sites throughout Erie County. The remainder of the meals were produced to fulfill contracts with other not-for-profits and health-related organizations as a form of revenue diversification.

General Description:
Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc. is an independent not-for-profit serving the nutritional needs of Erie County. Services include full management of a home-deliivered meal program for homebound seniors and disabled individuals, meal production for congregate dining sites, and meal production for other not-for-profits and health-related organizations. With more than 1,600 meal delivery volunteers, Meals on Wheels for Western New York is one of the largest volunteer-based organizations in the region.

What's New: As the aging population in America continues to grow, so does the Meals on Wheels for Western New York client list. In order to sustain our home-delivered meal services, we've developed a new business model that has grown substantially in recent years.

Beginning in 2012, MOW began fulfilling contracts for meal preparation for other not-for-profits in New York and Pennsylvania. This was made possible because of the expansion of the commissary in 2009, and due to the partnership we began with Bateman Community Living in 2014. Between 2012 and the beginning of 2016, the percentage of meals produced for outside business clients rose from less than one percent to 22.5 percent of our overall meals served! In the last year alone, MOW/Bateman have added five additional contracts, including Buffalo City Mission, Cicero Cottages, Crawford County Active Aging, Hispanics United of Buffalo, and Livingston County Meals on Wheels. While home-delivered meals and meal production for congregate dining at county-sponsored locations remain the core business lines, the ancillary meal preparation is the largest area of growth.

"We're really ratcheting up the additional business model," CEO and President Tara A. Ellis said. "Why? In order to protect the traditional business model, we need to make sure we have ways of covering the gaps in funding."

We've also been able to test new offerings for traditional clients, including piloting a made-without-gluten meal and planning the rollout of a lactose-free milk option. When funding allows, we've provided enhanced offerings, such as protein bars and eggs for our renal clients. We also are investigating the potential to launch a "gourmet" option in the future.

"For us, a huge part of new growth means meeting the changing needs of older adults, but also preparing a strong financial base so that those vulnerable individuals never need to worry about whether services will be there. That's our promise to the community - we'll be there!" Ellis said.
Tara Ellis
President & CEO 
Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc 

Senior Volunteers - Brave New World - Webinar
September 20, 2016 2:00 PM ET

Upcoming volunteers will have different mindset than our Greatest Generation "all hands on deck all day every day" volunteers, how can we prepare and support the recent retirees who want personalized, high skilled opportunities when we still need volunteers to serve lunch?  Participants will rethink the way you advertise/recruit for volunteers; learn ways to restructure some of your ongoing volunteer needs and what research and practical experience has told us the next wave of volunteers are looking for.

About the Presenter:
Jill S. Thompsen, CVB, Volunteer Specialist, City of Culver City, Culver City, CA
Jill S. Thomsen, Certified Volunteer Administrator, has served as Volunteer Specialist for the City of Culver City for ten years and was named California Parks & Recreation Society Outstanding Full Time Professional for 2009-2010.  Thomsen has presented on volunteer management & programs at the both the national Senior Corps conference & the SoCal Senior Symposium. Thomsen received a B.A. in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach

Free for NANASP Members / $25.00 for Non-Members

NANASP Members: CLICK HERE to Register Now
Non-Members: CLICK HERE to Register Now


Have an article you would like to have published in NANASP NEWS?  Want to see your organization featured in NANASP Member Profile?      
Contact Scott Carlson at 

National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs 
1612 K Street NW, Suite 400 
Washington, DC  20006