Meals on Wheels delivered more than 40,000 meals in 2023

Photos courtesy of Arc GLOW: Pictured around the table are: Peggy Fransisco of Albion, Henry Ford of Kent, Lewis Tombari of Lyndonville, Doreen Clark of Clarendon, Doreen Brumbaugh of Barre, and Ace Caldwell of Albion.

Posted 22 April 2024 at 11:29 am

Press Release, Arc GLOW

ALBION – Gathering at a small table at 16 E. Academy St. in Albion on Thursday, several seniors in Orleans County sit together to talk over a hot meal.

The meal is Salisbury steak covered in gravy with carrots and mashed potatoes for a side. They are given bread with butter, some milk and after they eat they will be given a dessert. Some help themselves to hot water or coffee as they exchange stories.

This is just one service which Meals on Wheels/Nutri-Fair program offers, which Arc GLOW has overseen since 2009. Its main goal is to assist in maintaining the healthy independence of our senior population and improving their quality of life.

“It’s important to our community, it’s important to our seniors,” said Vicki Havholm, nutrition program manager. “It’s keeping them in their homes longer by getting a nutritional meal that is done by our dietician to make sure it has what they need.”

In addition, Meals on Wheels acts as a wellness check. Havholm said drivers for Meals on Wheels checks on the clients Monday through Friday, and if there are any issues, Meals on Wheels will reach out to family members.

Office of the Aging passed along a comment that a legally blind woman said about the Orleans County Meals on Wheels program, “Without the meals, I wouldn’t be able to stay in my home.”

Meals are prepared every day. Kitchen staff come in at 6 a.m. to start cooking, so that drivers can start delivering them by 11 a.m. The menu is put together monthly by a dietician, and Havholm meets with her head cook to look at last year’s menus to review them. They remove unpopular meals and add new recipes.

In addition to the Meals on Wheels staff, volunteers from the Arc GLOW day habilitation and prevocational programs come to help put the meals together.

 In 2023, Meals on Wheels delivered 42,384 meals and served 2,057 at their Nutri-Fair sites for a total of 44,441 meals served.

“You can’t beat the prices here,” said Doreen Brumbaugh of Barre, who stopped into the Albion Nutri-Fare site on Thursday to eat. To eat at the congregate dining sites, a person must be over the age of 60 or the spouse of a participant of a person over 60. Guests of an eligible senior if they are under the age of 60 are asked to pay the guest fee for the meal.

Vicki Havholm, nutrition program manager for Arc GLOW, puts a meal in a warm box to be delivered. Arc has been running the program the past 15 years.

Seniors can come to the Nutri-Fair locations in Kendall, 1873 Kendall Road, and Albion, 16 E. Academy St. Albion serves Monday through Friday at noon, and Kendall serves noon Wednesdays and Fridays. Call (585) 589-7817 ext. 1417 by at least 9 a.m. to inform the kitchen staff you are coming in. A notification of 24 hours is preferred.

There are 10 routes which go all through Orleans County. Havholm said there are people on a waiting list for several of them due to the limitation on how many meals can be placed in a hot box.

“The food should only technically be out on the road for two and a half hours,” she explained. “Most of my drivers (who go to the northern part of the county) have plug-ins to go into their car (to keep the food warm) because they are in the car the longest.”

Havholm said a lot of people think Meals on Wheels is welfare and just for people who are poor. It is not.

“We are here for you to help you,” she said. “To put that ease of mind for your family knowing that someone is checking on you, you’re getting a meal. If there is an issue, we’re here.”

To help support this important program, every year for over 30 years, with the exception of a couple years break around Covid pandemic, Meals on Wheels holds a spaghetti and meatball dinner. Prior to Arc GLOW running the Meals on Wheels program, Albion First Presbyterian Church was in charge of it, and they started the fundraiser.

This year the spaghetti and meatball dinner will be held 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at Meals on Wheels, located at 16 E. Academy St., in Albion. Tickets cost $12 and children under 10 eat free.

There will also be a picnic at Lakeside on June 21 which requires a reservation, and the Office of the Aging will be holding its Spring Jubilee on May 17.

For more information on Meals on Wheels and eligibility in Orleans County, contact (585) 589-5424 option 5 to sign-up. You can also visit for information.