Rockingham Nutrition & Meals on Wheels

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Our History

Our History

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The Rockingham Nutrition and Meals on Wheels Program was founded in the fall of 1978. Prior to that Strafford County was running a small senior dining hall program in Rockingham, with 6 locations, a few days per week. That first year we served around 60,000 meals, all in community dining halls. There were no Meals on Wheels. Thirty seven years later, we are serving in the range of 290,000 to 300,000 meals.

The focus and founding of the program is helping people to stay well, by eating right, and the safety and social supports that come with the program. It is simple, but critical.

The funding impetus for these programs came from the Older Americans Act of 1965. Its purpose reads “ to provide older Americans, particularly those at risk, with low cost nutritionally sound meals served in strategically located centers, where they can obtain nutrition, and other services. Besides promoting better health among the older segment of the population through improved nutrition, such a program is aimed at reducing the isolation of old age, offering older Americans the opportunity to live their remaining years in dignity.” Guide to Effective Project Operations, April 1973.) The spirit of these services has always been about the dignity of older Americans.

Although the funding impetus came initially from the Older Americans Act, the Act never has, and continues to fund only a portion of the cost of the program. Therefore we must fundraise around 40% of the cost of each meal, up to a limit, and when we are over the limit we must fundraise 100%.
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Over the years, the programs have grown, and had changes: the most notable one for the agency being that adults between the ages of 18-60 who meet physical need and income guidelines have been added as eligible clients for Meals on Wheels. Rightly so, eating right can be a challenge for some at different ages, and since eating right is so important for people’s health and welfare, Meals on Wheels should be available. The initial philosophy of eating right, plus! Including a large focus on safety, remains the foundation of this Agency and our services.

For it can be a matter of life or death. “Optimum nutrition is one of the most important determinants of continued health and well being, and resulting quality of life among older individuals. Unfortunately older people may be at risk of poor nutrition for many reasons: loneliness, isolation, lack of transportation, physical disability that interferes with food purchasing and preparation, or too little income. Plus, an every greater threat is debilitating chronic disease and accompanying drug therapy. And although many people reach the ages of 70 and 80 while still maintaining good health, others, because of several chronic diseases, debilitating episodes of acute illness, high use of prescription drugs, or multiple health problems, are highly vulnerable to malnutrition which further escalates the severity of their disease condition and can contribute to ensuing death.” (AOA Roundtable on Nutrition, Washington, DC. March 1991, pp. 2, 3)

Won’t You Help Us?

There are many ways you can help including: volunteering at a site, donating to the program, donating items for clients, and so on.
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Rockingham Nutrition and Meals on Wheels

Administrative Address

Rockingham Nutrition & Meals on Wheels
106 North Road
Brentwood, NH 03833

Contact Us

Phone: (603) 679-2201
Fax: (603) 679-2206
Email: Admin@RNMOW.org

Be A Volunteer

Around 300 people each year help us out in various ways. More hands and hearts are always welcome. If this idea interests you contact the administration by phone or email.