Meals on Wheels has been a long-standing, highly-regarded institution since its beginning when the first "Meals On Wheels" were delivered in canteens to British servicemen during World War II.  The first formal Meals on Wheels program in America began in the 1950s in Philadelphia. The program has grown exponentially into today's vast network of local home-delivered meal programs that serve hundreds of seniors in Jefferson County and millions of seniors across the country.

Meals on Wheels began in Jefferson County in 1976 by serving just five homebound seniors. Since then, the program has served tens of thousands of homebound seniors in Jefferson County.  In the 2015, the program served over 250,000 meals to homebound seniors in Jefferson County. Today the program is administered by United Way of Central Alabama in partnership with the Office of Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizen Services.
 
The Meals on Wheels program offers two types of home delivered meals – hot meals delivered daily, Monday through Friday, and frozen meals delivered once weekly.  The majority of meals served in Jefferson County are hot meals which are delivered daily by volunteers.  Frozen meals are generally provided in areas where we do not offer daily hot food delivery or in other very specific circumstances as determined by our case managers.
 
General qualifications for the program require clients to be age 60 or greater and generally homebound.  Other factors considered include assessment of living arrangements, evaluation of independence in activities of daily living, observation of cognitive and physical abilities, and assessment of nutritional risk.  Prior to placement as an active participant in Meals on Wheels, one of our case managers will conduct an in-home assessment to confirm a potential client’s qualification for the program.