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 Emergency Meals on Wheels

Emergency Meals on Wheels provides a nutritious daily meal to homebound seniors who have been discharged from a healthcare facility within the last 30 days; or, whose caregiver is going into a healthcare facility for a brief period of time.

Emergency Meals on Wheels (EMOW) was established through a pilot program that was funded through a grant from the Indian River Community Foundation.  Emergency Meals on Wheels has been an overwhelming success preventing hospital readmissions and deferring nursing home placement, enabling recipients to remain in their homes independently.

Since the inception of the program in 2009, the number of Emergency Meals served annually has increased from 716 meals in the first year to 5,676 meals in 2012-2013.  The number of seniors served has increased from 23 in 2008-2009 to 213 clients in 2012-2013. The national average of hospital readmissions within 30 days of being released is 20%.  Clients receiving EMOW’s and a friendly wellness visit, decreases the number of clients readmitted to below 4.5%.

Currently, the average cost per day for a hospital stay is $2,875.  The cost to provide MOW’s for an SRA client is $7.86. Your contribution to this program will prevent hospital readmissions and allow individuals to remain comfortably in their homes.

Unlike the traditional Meals on Wheels Program, Emergency Meals on Wheels is not supported through federal grants. The program has only continued due to individual and local funding resources, primarily from the Indian River Community Foundation, Grand Harbor Community Outreach and the United Way. 

The Emergency Meals on Wheels program needs additional funds to continue to assist elders in recovery and prevent hospital readmission. The EMOW program helps temporarily isolated, homebound seniors who need short term home delivered meals to ensure nutritional intake because they have been discharged from a healthcare facility within the last 30 days. Emergency meals can also be arranged for an elder whose caregiver is going into a healthcare facility for a brief period of time.

                                Emergency Meals on Wheels Referral Form

Delivery for Meals on Wheels
Volunteers deliver meals to clients' homes Monday through Friday, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., also providing a daily safety check and friendly interaction.

For more information on our Nutrition Programs, please contact us at:  Phone: 772.794.1142  or  Email: nutrition@sramail.org

FAQs About Receiving Meals

Who makes the meals?
The School District of Indian River County prepares the meals.

When are meals delivered?
Meals are delivered to clients Monday through Friday, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Who delivers the meals?
To keep costs affordable, volunteers deliver the meals. All volunteers are screened through background checks and receive training prior to their service.

How much do meals cost?
Emergency Meals on Wheels are provided at no cost to the client for up to four weeks.

How does someone qualify for Emergency Meals?
Clients experiencing the following:

  1. A recent deterioration in health status
  2. Are frail, poorly ambulatory and unsteady on their feet with limited mobility and dexterity
  3. Live alone and have been discharged from a health care facility within the last 30 days, or had a caregiver who was admitted into a health care facility for a brief period of time; and,
  4. Have no one to shop or cook for them.

How do I get signed up to receive meals?
Please call the Nutrition Office at 772.794.1142.


694 14th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: 772.569.0760 | Fax: 772.778.7272

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