Fresh Ingredients with Meals on Wheels NEI

Community Spotlight: Meals on Wheels NEI (1/3)

Importance of Fresh Ingredients

At Adelante Center, we focus on developing programs and projects that benefit Lake County and the surrounding areas. In this week's Community Spotlight, we've connected with Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois to better understand their perspective on the current state of food access in the area. Adelante Center's indoor, year-round, urban farms supply fresh vegetables and herbs to Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois so they can provide their clients with healthy, local produce as part of their meals.

Continue reading our community spotlight series for more insight!

This is a text interview with content provided by Meals on Wheels NEI's Executive Director, Deborah Morganfield.

Content has been updated to suit video format. Below is a transcription of the video.


Q: So, could you please share with us how farm-fresh ingredients play a role in your day-to-day operations?

A: Locally grown produce is shown to have better health benefits. As supply chain issues continue to impact our operations, having access to local produce has removed so many of our challenges. Volunteers continue to marvel at the beautiful, healthy produce and are proud to be a part of our mission.


Q: We noticed Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois recently built a new centralized kitchen. How has that impacted your ability to serve?

A: Prior to our new facility, we depended on hospitals, assisted living facilities, restaurants, and caterers to prepare specialized dishes. With the new centralized kitchen, we have the ability to prioritize fresh, locally sourced ingredients while giving people options to choose from. Having a central space also allows us to control costs more efficiently and opt out of using items that don't fit, like unhealthy desserts.


Q: That's fantastic. I'm sure your recipients really appreciate the freshness of every dish. How can the community get involved or better support your organization?

A: Donations are critical to the success of the organization. More than 80% of our clients receive a reduced meal fee, so the cost to provide those meals is far greater than the amount we receive in meal fees. Donations allow us to cover food costs as well as equipment, building staff, insurance, and so many other critical expenses.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and information with us today.


For more information on how to get involved with The Adelante Center or Meal on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois, check out the links below.


The Adelante Center Resources:

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Meals on Wheels NEI Resources:

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Our Mission:

"Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois fosters health and contributes to the individual well-being and independence by delivering nutritious meals and medically prescribed diets and by providing other supportive services to the home-bound, elderly, disabled, and persons temporarily unable to care for their nutritional needs."

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