St. Paul Meals on Wheels is a ministry founded in 1971.
St. Paul Meals on Wheels is a ministry founded in 1971 by members of the former St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church who saw a need in the community, among the elderly citizens, for daily, home-delivered meals, at a reasonable cost. They traveled to the North Side of Pittsburgh to observe and help with a Meals on Wheels program already established in that area. This experience informed the founding of St. Paul Meals on Wheels program and for the last 47 years, a hot dinner meal has been prepared in that same church kitchen, five days a week. In addition, a lunch is prepared and delivered along with the hot dinner meal. The meals have been delivered to the Meals on Wheels clients in all types of weather. Throughout the history of St. Paul Meals on Wheels it is estimated that over 600,000 meals have been prepared and delivered by hundreds of volunteers.
Throughout our history, we have always been independent of any other organized Meals on Wheels program. Recently, we joined the Meals on Wheels America program to enable us to take advantage of resources it may be able to provide. Our organization has been staffed, run, and financed by volunteers and donations. While the faces of the volunteers have changed over the years, their dedication, faith, and commitment have not.
St. Paul Meals on Wheels has come through hard times where it has been in a very real danger of closing. The parish, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, from which the program came forth, did indeed close in 2006 after over 100 years of ministry to the community.
However, the St. Paul Meals on Wheels ministry has remained through the efforts of many dedicated volunteers and continues to faithfully provide home-cooked meals to residents of Pitcairn, Monroeville, Trafford, Level Green, Wall, and Wilmerding.
About The Meals
Every meal is prepared in the Allegheny County Health Department certified kitchen in the old St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Building located in Pitcairn. Besides the hot meal, consisting of a meat, potato/starch, and vegetable, each client receives a sandwich, bread, salad, fruit, desert and milk. Currently, these meals are provided for $5.00 per day, which was reduced from $7.00 in 2016 due to cost saving measures. One can’t get one meal at a restaurant for this price, much less a hot and cold meal like St. Paul Meals on Wheels provides.
Ministry of Presence
In addition to providing home-cooked, tasty meals, we also provide another service. We call it ministry of presence. Sometimes the Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer’s presence with the client is just as necessary as the meals they bring. Sometimes the delivery volunteer is the only other human being our client will see on any given day. Our volunteers build relationships with our clients and personally care for their well-being. We maintain a list of family member and emergency contacts for each client. Sometimes the Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer has been responsible for reporting falls, health concern, and other serious matters to persons who could provide the necessary help. Without that attention from the delivery volunteers, some crisis situations could have turned into tragedies.