Alameda Meals on Wheels (AMOW) was founded in 1973 by a group of concerned citizens who saw the need for assistance in having healthy meals delivered to the homebound. A volunteer board of directors established a non-profit organization guided by the mission “to promote independent living for persons of all ages by delivering a nutritionally-balanced, hot meal daily to their homes.”
The Alameda Red Cross provided our first headquarters. In 1974, we moved our offices to the First Presbyterian Church building and then moved again to Hillhaven Convalescent Hospital (now Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where we remain today).
Contracting midday meal preparation from the Alameda Unified School District, Meals on Wheel’s rallied a small group of volunteers to deliver these meals to residents who were homebound and unable to cook for themselves. Since the mid 1970’s, the kitchen at Bayview Nursing has provided the hot meals served daily to our recipients. Today, AMOW’s mission continues with over 175 volunteers who deliver meals to the homes of over 140 recipients.
In 2004, AMOW added the Friendly Visitors Program, which offers personal visits to Alameda’s residents who are homebound or living in a Care Center. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are replaced by a weekly visit by a caring volunteer. We currently offer 70 visits each week. With food and friendship underlying AMOW’s flagship programs, AMOW has adjusted its mission to simply “promote independent living for persons of all ages.”
Alameda Meals on Wheels is unique among other meal service programs in that it does not receive government funding, allowing AMOW to achieve its mission to serve persons of all ages. As a result, AMOW depends entirely on individuals, businesses, and organizations for volunteer and financial support.