Meals on Wheels America Grant from Gary and Mary West Foundation to Explore Healthcare Benefits of Meal Delivery for Homebound Seniors


Arlington, VA, and San Diego, CA, February 25, 2016 – Meals on Wheels America has been awarded a grant from the Gary and Mary West Foundation to conduct a retrospective review of the demographic and associated healthcare information of Meals on Wheels recipients to gain insight on the program’s health benefits to Medicare recipients.

Through its grant, Meals on Wheels America is commissioning researchers at the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research to leverage data from local Meals on Wheels programs with Medicare health claims information to study the health impacts of receiving home-delivered meals compared to seniors who are non-Meals on Wheels recipients. Called More Than a Meal Phase 2 – Medicare Claims Analysis Study, this project builds on the More Than a Meal pilot study released in March of 2015 and for which Brown University also led the research.

“We hope this research will reinforce the value of nutrition and the importance of Meals on Wheels  services to vulnerable seniors,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Ultimately, we hope to show that the Meals on Wheels delivery system – the nutritious meals, along with the daily social contact and routine safety check – has considerable impact on the health and well-being of seniors.”

Findings from this project may signal whether any differences in healthcare utilization can be attributed to the different meal delivery modalities as compared to a matched population of Medicare beneficiaries /non-Meals on Wheels recipients, and will be important information for decisions made at the federal, state and local levels about the availability of nutrition services.

“Homebound seniors depend on organizations like Meals on Wheels to live. Studying the health impacts from delivering these meals is essential to expanding the reach of these services,” said Shelley Lyford, President and CEO of the Gary and Mary West Foundation. “Improving the quality and coordination of care for our nation’s older adults through innovative community-and home-based models is critical to helping our seniors age successfully.”

For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/research.


About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

About the Gary and Mary West Foundation

The Gary and Mary West Foundation is a private non-operating foundation solely funded by Gary and Mary West dedicated to helping make successful aging a reality for America’s seniors. Working in collaboration with the flagship Gary and Mary West Health Institute and related Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center, these organizations use applied medical research, policy and advocacy initiatives with outcomes-based funding from the foundation. Collectively, they work to enable seniors to age in place, on their own terms, preserving and protecting their dignity, quality of life and independence.

The foundation, which accepts grant proposals by invitation only, is based in San Diego and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2016. Learn more at gmwf.org, and follow us @GMWFoundation.