"Thank you all for your good and dedicated service over the years."
"Thanks to the kitchen staff, drivers and the youngsters who decorate our delivery bags."
"Your service is a precious gift."
Our Mission and History
Our Mission: "Providing nourishing meals to those needing assistance."
In 1972, Meals on Wheels of Ridgefield began its service to the Ridgefield community. Our founders, Barbara Deegan, Marion Sloan and Annette Zelson, did their cooking in the basement of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. This set us apart from the start – we would prepare tasty, nutritious meals in our own kitchen rather than contract with nursing home or hospital kitchens. Initially 24 meals were prepared and delivered per week.
As demand grew, we moved first to the then Ridgefield Family Y (at the former, and once again, Barlow Mountain Elementary School) and in 1984 to our present home in Ballard Green. In 2003 we expanded and totally renovated the kitchen. This was made possible by a grant to the town by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development specifically for this purpose. It was a timely upgrade as ten years ago we prepared and delivered an average of 200 meals per week; we now average 500 or more per week.
As always, we rely on a large number of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. We currently have over 120 people who work in our kitchen three days a week to plan prepare, and deliver enough meals for every day of the year, if needed. We provide nutritionally balance meals with a home cooked taste. Additionally, we work hard to ensure that the needs of our clients who have special requests either due to dietary restrictions or preference are met.
The three women who founded meals on Wheels of Ridgefield very wisely had it incorporated under the laws of the State of Connecticut as a totally independent not-for-profit corporation. With no government affiliations, we are free to serve any resident of Ridgefield we determine is in need of our service. We have no quotas, age requirements or waiting lists for our services and we are committed to keeping it that way.
Because we are a non-profit organization that receives no federal or state aid for our expenses we are required to raise all of the funds needed to finance our program. Client payments cover less than 30% of our meal costs. As a result, the vast majority of our funding comes from individual donations, local businesses, civic organizations, trusts and foundations.
The need for our services increases every year. The number of housebound elderly (an often invisible part of our community) continues to grow. We are also seeing increased demand from other segments of the community.
Clearly, in these times, we are more grateful than ever for the support of our community and volunteers. Eighty-nine percent of our spending goes towards our services (rather than operational overhead). It is our desire and mission to always be ready to provide nourishing meals to those who may need it.