Foodnet Meals on Wheels mission is to provide meals and other nutrition services that promote dignity,
well being and independence for older adults and other persons in need in
We envision a Tompkins County community in which senior hunger is
eliminated, supportive services are readily accessible, and our
neighbors enjoy independence without isolation.
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In Ithaca, delivery of hot meals to shut-ins was started in 1967 by a
volunteer group of local church women. In 1974, a congregate meal
program called the Tompkins County Nutrition Program for the Elderly was
established, authorized under the Older Americans Act and funded through
the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. Cornell Cooperative Extension
of Tompkins County and The Salvation Army operated the program in the
early years. The program grew and became an independent non-profit
organization named Foodnet in 1987; organized by a group of concerned
citizens to provide congregate and home delivered meals and to promote
independent living. The local Meals on Wheels program was consolidated
under Foodnet Meals on Wheels in December 2000.
- A Critical Service
Adequate nutrition is essential for healthy aging, the
prevention or delay of chronic disease and disease-related disabilities, and for
improved quality of life. Yet poor nutrition is a major problem for many older
adults. Almost 90 per cent have a nutrition-related chronic disease or condition
such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis. About 40
per cent of community dwelling older adults have inadequate food and nutrient
intake, which affects their health and ability to function independently.
Meals on Wheels mission is to meet these needs.
Foodnet Meals on Wheels provides nutrition services to older adults
throughout Tompkins County. Meals in community centers improve participants'
health and prevent more costly interventions. Meals on Wheels enable older adults to avoid or delay costly
institutionalization and allow them to stay in their homes or communities. Other
services include nutrition screening, assessment, education, and nutrition
counseling. The purposes of these programs are to improve health, improve
dietary intakes, offer participants opportunities to form new friendships,
encourage informal support systems, and link participants to other health and