CROSS Meals on Wheels launches new sliding meal fee to provide more meals for local seniors

Community groups Match Kopp Family Foundation $5,000 Challenge to help program begin

Each week, more than 200 hot and nutritious meals are delivered to individuals in the communities of Maple Grove, Osseo, Rogers, Corcoran and Dayton as part of the CROSS Services Meals on Wheels program.

To make home delivered meals accessible for more people in the community, the local Meals on Wheels program has shifted to a sliding fee program. On average, meals cost approximately $5.50 a piece, some of which are subsidized through different programs. With the new sliding fee program, the home delivered meal program is now open to more community members, the meal price determined on eligibility to pay and need.

CROSSmealsOnWheels“There is a group of people that fall into a category where they need assistance for health reasons, but don’t qualify through the county,” CROSS Meals on Wheels Coordinator Stephanie Lehman said. “We want to make sure the people needing help are getting it — so no senior goes hungry.”

Volunteer drivers currently provide a well check component for Meals on Wheels participants. In addition, CROSS is offering a comprehensive in-house screening by case worker, providing more immediate and long-term assistance with the recipient and their families.

The well check and screening provides additional support which can be “as important as the nutritious meal and a great benefit to participants if they are having a hard day,” Lehman said. For instance, a driver delivered a meal and noticed the participant seemed a bit confused. Upon further conversation, it was revealed the individual fell and bumped his head. The emergency contact was notified immediately for further instructions.

Of the Meals on Wheels recipients responding to a 2014 survey, 92 percent said they would recommend Meals on Wheels to others. “It’s nice to have a hot meal daily and I so enjoy the volunteers, they are all friendly and always help,” one participant said.

Meals are made up of a main entrée, vegetable, bread, dessert, fruit, and milk. Meal options include low sodium, low sugar and regular diets. All meals are catered by Lynde’s Restaurant in Osseo.

Community Partners 

Several donations were made in response to the Kopp Family Foundation $5,000 Match Challenge to CROSS Services to assist in subsidizing the Meals on Wheels sliding fee program for those that cannot afford all or part of the fee. The KOPP Family Foundation’s $1 for $1 donor match up to $5,000 was quickly met by donations from General Mills employees, the Maple Grove Lions and individual donors.

“The Kopp Family Foundation is proud to help promote and support the Meals on Wheels Program at CROSS by setting up this challenge grant, and we are delighted to hear the challenge was met so quickly,” Kopp Family Foundation Administrator Lindsey Lang said. “We hope that this grant allows CROSS to build on the program and hopefully be able to serve even more homebound individuals this year.”

“The Maple Grove Lions are very community based and ‘We Serve’ so that our time, talents, and donations are going back into our community,” said Maureen Major, member of the Maple Grove Lion’s Charitable Review committee. “CROSS Meals on Wheels program provides for people in our Maple Grove community, which is part of the specific local area.”

The Osseo Fire Department Relief Association added to this fund by donating $10,000 to CROSS Services to assist in providing food to seniors in Osseo and surrounding communities through the Meals on Wheels program at CROSS.

“A core mission of the Osseo Fire Department is to help our neighbors in times of crisis. While we equip and train ourselves in the event of a fire, accident, or medical emergency, we see this duty as extending beyond just these situations,” Osseo Fire Department Relief Association representative Mike Phenow said. “Through OFDRA, we are proud to support CROSS in their mission of feeding and clothing our neighbors in times of need.”

 How to Sign Up for Meals on Wheels:

• Community members living in Maple Grove, Osseo, Rogers, Corcoran and Dayton can contact Meals on Wheels Coordinator Stephanie Lehman at 763-425-1050 or [email protected] for more information about enrolling. Family members of seniors are encouraged to call or email to obtain information about enrolling their loved one.

• How much does a ready-to-eat meal through Meals on Wheels cost? Price is based on need. Subsidy programs may be available to cover the cost of meal delivery service which is determined after an in-home assessment to determine financial need.

Based in Rogers, CROSS has been operating for nearly four decades and serves more than 600 families each month. For more information, contact CROSS at 763-425-1050 or visit the website at www.CROSSservices.org.