Meals on Wheels NEI: Supply-Chain Impact

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

At The Adelante Center for Entrepreneurship, 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 current objectives and learn about recent challenges they've encountered as a result of supply-chain issues.

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 Meals on Wheels NEI 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, how have the current economic conditions changed the way you think about how to help people in Lake County?

A: The need has been huge and continues to grow with the aging population. More than 25,000 older adults in our delivery areas are struggling to access food. It's vital that our organization continues to grow, so we're able to better meet those needs.


Q: It's no surprise that the pandemic and supply-chain issues have had major impacts on businesses across the country and even internationally. How has Meals on Wheels been able to do more with less?

A: We have grown as an organization throughout the last five years, so while the pandemic and other factors may have slowed our business in some areas, our progress has been strong.


Q: It's fantastic to see that Meals on Wheels has continued to grow and serve those in need despite the challenges you've encountered. In a dream world with infinite funding, where would you like to expand?

A: Right now, we are looking for property in western Lake County that would give us a lot more space and the capacity to produce a greater amount of meals. With a larger space, we'd be able to expand our footprint and help many more people in need of our services. We also have an existing relationship with the Red Cross in which they use our meals during disasters, so we are hoping to install additional equipment like a freezer, cooler space, and a generator.


Q: A larger space to produce more for those in need would be incredible. And it's great to hear you have a partnership with the Red Cross to help those facing disaster. How can members of the community get involved or better support Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois?

A: Donations are critical to the success of the organization. More than 80% of our clients receive meals at a reduced fee, so the cost to produce those meals is far greater than the amount we receive directly. Donations allow us to cover food costs, as well as equipment, building, staff, insurance, and so many other critical expenses. Donations also allow us to continue to grow and serve more meals to those that need them the most.


It's been great to learn more about your organization. Thank you so much for sharing.


For those interested in getting involved, we've included additional resources below.


The Adelante Center Resources:

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Meals on Wheels NEI Resources:

Website    Facebook    Instagram     Volunteer    Donate

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."

- Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois


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