Culver-Palms Meals on Wheels (CPMOW) has been serving much of West Los Angeles and the surrounding area since 1974. The independently operated nonprofit offers meals and an added element – an opportunity to connect with others.
Meals are delivered primarily by volunteers who devote a few hours a week to pack the meals and “hand-deliver prepared meals to home-bound individuals,” said Pam Frieden, CPMOW executive director.
“The majority are senior citizens who are unable to shop, prepare and cook a meal for themselves.”
“I don’t want anyone to go hungry on my watch.”
Currently, “about 90 volunteers and three part-time workers together donate about 650 hours per month” states Frieden.
“It is such a rewarding organization that touches the lives of individuals that otherwise may have been forgotten, ” said Rich Kissel, Board Member.
The price of a meal, including delivery, is $7. An estimated “30% of the recipients cannot afford that price,” said Frieden. CPMOW covers the balance due. “Because we don’t get government funding, we need the community to support us.”
“I love when a neighbor calls to say that they have a neighbor who is in need and pays for a few months worth,” said Frieden.
A safety check is also done for all recipients states the website.
Frieden is proud of CPMOW’s 2017 financial transparency and their Platinum rating from the charity rating organization Guide Star USA, Inc. However, she desires to meet even more community needs in 2019 in pockets of West Los Angeles and hopes funding will increase so this can be obtained.
She shared how many recipients look forward to these visits for both the food delivery and the personal touch of the volunteer visits and shared a story of how one such connection was made even stronger.
“When a volunteer knocked on the front door of a senior citizen who did not answer, she became concerned and peered through the window. She could see him sitting on the couch. She raised her voice asking him to answer the door. When he opened the door, it became obvious he needed medical attention because there was a large gash on his head.”
“Because we don’t get government funding, we need the community to (financially) support us.
Thankfully the volunteer was there to notify emergency personnel to get him the help he needed.
“People coming together is what community is all about.”
Frieden explained that “accommodations can in most cases be made by the staff if an individual has a dietary restriction or in some cases even a food preference.”
“We want to make sure they will eat what we are bringing them.”
Information about Meals on Wheels can be found by visiting https://mealsonwheelsculverpalms.org/
Correction: The original online article and the printed article stated there were 650 volunteers.