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Reed Joins Meals on Wheels in West Warwick

[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed's Office] Friday, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) helped Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island team members deliver a meal to Ms. Vivian Raposa, 76, in West Warwick, and her dog, Lulu. Pictured above, from left, Mike Florczyk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island, Vivian, and Reed.

[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed's Office] Friday, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) helped Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island team members deliver a meal to Ms. Vivian Raposa, 76, in West Warwick, and her dog, Lulu. Pictured above, from left, Mike Florczyk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island, Vivian, and Reed.
[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed’s Office] Friday, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) helped Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island team members deliver a meal to Ms. Vivian Raposa, 76, in West Warwick, and her dog, Lulu. Pictured above, from left, Mike Florczyk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island, Vivian, and Reed.
WEST WARWICK, RI — Friday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island delivering meals to local seniors to highlight the critical services its volunteers provide to homebound Rhode Islanders.

MOWRI’s trained volunteers provide clients with safety-assuring wellness checks in the process of providing them with quality cooked meals they may not otherwise have regular access to.  Volunteers get to know their clients and are trained to respond if they detect something is amiss, according to Sen. Reed’s office.

Founded in 1969, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island is the only non-profit home-delivered meal program of its kind in the state.  In order to qualify for Meals on Wheels services, clients must be over the age of 60, homebound, no longer driving, unable to prepare food themselves and without a qualified caregiver who prepares meals. About 80 percent of Meals on Wheels clients nationwide are classified as “low-income or extremely-low-income,” according to an internal study by Meals on Wheels America.

Maintaining a healthy volunteer base is a challenge for any service organizations, and MOWRI is fortunate to have a dedicated group of some 500 annual volunteers, which is key as demand for its programs continues to grow.

In 2024, MOWRI serves approximately 12 percent more daily meals to homebound Rhode Islanders than five years ago. In 2023, the Home-Delivered Meal Program served more than 363,000 meals to 2,956 homebound clients statewide, including on Block Island.

Friday, Reed met with Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island team members and volunteers before visiting the home of Ms. Vivian Raposa, 76, in West Warwick, and her dog, Lulu. Mike Florczyk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island, joined Senator Reed for the visit.

,Raposa, a long-time MOWRI Home-Delivered Meal Program client, described her regular volunteer delivery drivers, Mel and Joe, as some of her best friends.

“Meals on Wheels is a critical program run by incredible people and volunteers. They not only deliver food, but they also offer that person-to-person interaction that means so much to people, especially homebound seniors.  I salute all these volunteers who keep our seniors well-connected and well-fed. Visiting Ms. Raposa and Lulu and hearing about what this program means to her was the highlight of my day,” said Reed, who delivered a meal of baked salmon with lemon butter, roasted potatoes, green beans, cracked wheat bread, and fresh tangerines.

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island is a critical link in the state’s network of senior nutrition programs, both congregate and home-delivered.  The program’s meals are delivered through 21 meal dispatch sites around the state.  Meals on Wheels largely relies on federal sources of funding and local efforts to deliver food to homebound seniors in need to help them remain healthy and safe living in their own homes. In 2023, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island served 381,049 nutritious meals to  3,500 older adults across the state.

A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed has been recognized as a Congressional champion of the Meals on Wheels program and has led efforts to secure funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, which assists Meals on Wheels with serving millions of Americans across the nation.

To learn more about volunteering or making a donation to MOWRI visit: https://www.rimeals.org/

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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