Frequently Asked Questions
(If you do need more information, contact Diane Faulkner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-525-0143 ext. 115)
Am I eligible to get Meals on Wheels?
Seniors 60 years of age and older who are homebound and/or unable to shop and cook are eligible to receive Meals on Wheels. You may also receive Meals on Wheels, regardless of your age, if you are the spouse/partner of a 60+ senior who is receiving meals, or are a person with a disability living with the 60+ homebound senior.
Where do I get an application?
You don’t need to fill out an application. We do our intake over the phone in a very simple format. Just call 707-525-0143.
How much does it cost?
We ask for a donation of $4.00 per meal, but recognize that some clients will not be able to afford the donation.
Do I pay the driver every day?
No. Each month we will send you a notification of the number of meals we delivered to you the previous month. There will be a return envelope with that statement. Just put a donation you can afford in the envelope and mail it back to:
Council on Aging, Attn. Meals on Wheels
30 Kawana Springs Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
What if I can’t afford to send you any donation for my meal?
We will continue to deliver meals to you. Our program is not based on ability to donate for the meals; it is based on your need for balanced meals that help to keep you independent and healthy.
How many days a week can I get meals?
We can deliver one meal per day per person Monday through Friday. Some of our clients receive meals all five days; some need meals only two or three days a week. The meals are delivered in the middle of the day. With our Friday meal delivery, we can also deliver frozen meals for the weekend. These meals can be reheated in a microwave or conventional oven.
What kind of food do you serve?
Because we prepare and deliver over 1,000 meals per day, our program is based on a single Heart Healthy menu per day. Over the course of a month, the meals will range from casseroles to turkey and gravy. We serve special meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each meal includes a protein, a vegetable, a starch, milk, juice and fruit or dessert. Vegetarian meals are available.
What types of meals do you serve?
We prepare and deliver almost 1,000 meals per day, and our program is based on a choice menu per day. Over the course of a month, the meals will range from casseroles to salads and soup, from fish to poultry and pork. We serve vegetarian, diabetic-friendly and heart-healthy options. We serve special meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day. Each meal includes nutrition items approved by a registered dietitian and meets the requirements of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program.
I’m diabetic; will I be able to get a diabetic diet?
We offer a diabetic-friendly meal. We offer a (4) Choice Meal Menu and (1) is deemed diabetic-friendly.
Can I order what I like, or substitute for meals I don’t like?
We prepare close to 1,000 meals per day, so we have a fixed choice menu each day. However, we do prepare our menus a month ahead and each client gets a new menu at the beginning of every month. If you do not like the meal that has been assigned to you on a particular day, you may call up to 48 hours in advance to change your meal choice. If you have an allergy or aversion to an item we have on the menu, you will have time to make other arrangements for that meal and to cancel delivery on that day.
Can I call you every day to order for the next day?
No. Because we prepare so many meals each day and need to be careful of our food costs, we require that we have an established delivery pattern for each client. Of course, that pattern can be changed when necessary, with a minimum of 24 hours notice.
Can I receive a partial order?
Our program is designed to deliver nutritionally approved meals daily to people who need them. Unfortunately, we cannot customize an order.
Can you deliver my meal for dinner?
Our meals are cooked the previous day and chilled. Our delivery routes are designed to enable us to get the maximum number of meals to the maximum number of clients from Monday through Friday. Based on our current capacity, that means that meals are delivered in the middle of the day.
What time of day will it be delivered?
It depends on where you live. In Santa Rosa, your route may get meals as early as 11:30 am or as late as 2:00 pm. The meals will be delivered at about the same time every day. In surrounding communities, meals generally arrive around lunchtime.
Can you leave the meal at my doorstep or in a cooler if I am not home?
No. We deliver chilled food that must be kept at a specific temperature due to mandated food code and we cannot risk our clients’ health by leaving uneaten food un-refrigerated for an unknown period of time. We can leave the meal in your refrigerator if you are willing to leave your door unlocked, or we can leave it with a neighbor if you let us know in advance. We will work with you on the best plan for handling these occasions.
I am disabled; can I get Meals on Wheels?
Seniors 60 years of age and older who are homebound and/or unable to shop and cook are eligible to receive Meals on Wheels. You may also receive Meals on Wheels, regardless of your age, if you are the spouse/partner of a 60+ senior who is receiving meals, or are a person with a disability living with the 60+ homebound senior. Unfortunately, disability alone does not qualify you for this senior program.
How is the program funded? Isn’t Meals on Wheels a government program?
Meals on Wheels of Sonoma County is a program of the Council on Aging of Sonoma County which is a private non-profit established over 50 years ago to serve local seniors. Only 38% of our annual budget is provided by Federal funding under the Older Americans Act. The rest of the money we need each year is generated through donations, fundraising events, and grants.
I used to get Meals on Wheels in Michigan. Their program provides lunch and dinner, and I’d like to get the same meals here. Can I?
Meals on Wheels programs are a product of local county and non-profit agencies and are designed to serve the needs of their own seniors. So each program will offer different services.