Meals-on-Wheels History

In 1973, Columbus became the second city in the nation to establish and implement a program designed to meet the nutritional needs of older adults in our community.  Geraldine Hayes spearheaded the effort during the early years to launch what is known today as LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program and congregate meal program.

The project originally was known as Food for Elderly People; 50 meals were prepared and delivered to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Poindexter Village, Union Grove Baptist Church, and Urbancrest.  As the program continued to grow, it expanded to include senior centers, community centers, restaurants, area churches, as well as meal delivery to homebound seniors.  The Program was called Nutrition Involving Columbus Elders (NICE Program).  The program produced approximately 500 meals per day.

Forty-five years later, the mission remains the same; to meet the health and nutritional needs of the older adults, medically challenged and disabled adults in our community.  The only change the program has experienced is growth!  LifeCare Alliance now provides Meals-on-Wheels and Senior Dining Centers in five counties in central Ohio – Franklin, Madison, Marion, Champaign, and Logan. The program also provides meals to after-school programs and daycare centers.

LifeCare Alliance serves a culturally diverse population; menus include kosher, Somali, Asian, mechanical soft, and puréed meals.  Clients can also choose from hot, cold, or frozen choice menus.