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NEWS Improving and Protecting the Health, Well-Being
and Self-Reliance of All Montanans.

November 7, 2013


Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391

DPHHS Director Richard Opper to deliver 100 meals to local seniors

Meals on Wheels program serves 7,000 Montanans every year

Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Richard Opper will deliver about 100 nutritious meals on Friday, November 8 to local seniors beginning at 10 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Development Council located at 200 South Cruse Avenue in Helena.

Annually, the Meals on Wheels Program delivers meals five days a week statewide to the homes of about 7,000 eligible Montana seniors age 60 and over. These are seniors who are homebound and unable to travel to meal sites for a congregate meal.

"This is a program that touches the lives of thousands of Montanans every year and I wanted to spend time today to see it in action," Opper said. "Meals on Wheels is a big reason why many of our seniors are able to remain living independently in their home. This program really provides a great service to our seniors and it’s something they count on daily."

Meals on Wheels operates on federal, state and local funds with the work carried out by nearly 140 providers all across Montana who deliver 700,000 meals annually. For eligible people over age 60, there is a suggested minimum donation at the various locations across Montana, but it is not required.

In the Helena area, DPHHS contracts with the Rocky Mountain Development Council (RMDC) to serve the counties of Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson, including the communities of Helena, East Helena, August, Lincoln, Townsend, Whitehall and Boulder.

Every year, about 48,000 meals are delivered to 500 people in this region of the state.

"We know how important Meals on Wheels is to the people we serve," said Walter Hanley of RMDC. "We see it on their faces every day. This work is easily one of the best parts of my job."

RMDC has been involved with the Meals on Wheels for 40 years.

The vast majority of home delivered meals are served hot, but they can be delivered cold, frozen, dried, canned or as supplemental foods. Meals must comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Each site determines the frequency of meals served per week. Meals on Wheels is one of the many programs offered through the DPHHS aging network to over 58,000 senior citizens. Other aging service programs include the Congregate Meals, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Elderly Legal Assistance.

Page last updated 11/07/2013