Our Story

The History of Meals on Wheels

The first American home-delivered meal program began in Philadelphia in January of 1954.  In 1965, Congress passed the Older Americans Act and began the federal program of congregate and home-delivered meals.  The “Nutrition Program for the Elderly Act” was passed in 1972, authorizing funding for a permanent national nutrition services program for the elderly.

In 1972 a group of volunteers established a meals program for the elderly in Salinas.  It became a service of the Volunteer Bureau.  The first meals were delivered to the homes of twelve clients.

The program grew and became a separate organization in 1985, when we incorporated as Meals on Wheels of Salinas, Inc., a nonprofit agency.  In 1994 we expanded and started delivering meals in the rural areas of the Salinas Valley.  In 1998 we changed our name to Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, Inc. to reflect our expanded service area.

We are proud to state that Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley has never had a waiting list for our meal delivery service and we continue to serve everyone in our community who is in need.

In 2022 Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley celebrated 50 years of service to the community and now plan for the next 50 years of service to the community. 

Founding Members - 1985

Gladys Allen
Lorraine Colbert
George Harruff
Lewis Hubert
J. Edson Irvine
Ben Lopez
Fran McFadden
Genevieve O'Connor
Jewel Patton
Lori Peake


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