Color choice menu added to meal program

Fresh Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County continues to improve upon its already nationally recognized program. This year the organization introduced Choice Menu and became the first program in the country to provide a full color menu for clients.

With the Choice Menu program, clients get to choose between two entrĂ©es each day. The new menu’s vivid photography makes it easier for people with dementia or other cognitive issues to understand their options, helping them make more educated meal choices.

The launch of the Meal Choice program became a reality thanks in large part to a grant from Bader Philanthropies, which offset the costs of photographing entrées, designing and printing menus, purchasing tablets to use with clients who are unable to complete menu selections on their own, and making the software changes necessary to track daily meal choices. The photography was handled by Studio 44 in Green Bay, who also generously helped design the new colorful menu.

Since 1970, Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County has been delivering hot meals five days a week to homebound, elderly and disabled residents throughout Sheboygan County.

In 2012, the organization went from contracting with a catering service, to serving meals that are made in-house using fresh ingredients grown in the Meals On Wheels gardens and donated by local farmers and growers. In 2016, more than 21,000 pounds of local produce was processed in the Christopher Family Kitchen at Fresh Meals On Wheels and used in client meals.

Fresh Meals On Wheels caters to a variety of dietary needs and preferences including low sodium (heart healthy), controlled carbohydrate, renal, bland, gluten free, and lactose intolerant. Clients can also get meals that are precut, ground or pureed, depending on their needs or abilities. All diets offered by Fresh Meals On Wheels meet or exceed federal nutritional guidelines.

“Devising a choice menu that meets the guidelines for all of those diets wasn’t easy, but we felt it was important that everyone we serve has the chance to enjoy the freedom of choice,” said Fresh Meals On Wheels CEO Kelly Heyn.

The reaction from Meals On wheels clients has been overwhelmingly positive, some even tearing-up at being able to select their meals. Barb Ryan, a client of seven months, said she loves the meatloaf. “I don’t like chicken breasts, and I like that I can pick something else on those days.”

Her nutrition has improved with Meals On Wheels. “I like the portion control. Now when I’m cooking, I know how much I should have – and I get enough vitamin D because I drink milk every day, which I never used to do,” Ryan said.

Mary Dorn has seen the organization’s evolution up close during the six years she has received meals.

“Meals On Wheels has expanded so much, it keeps getting better and better,” she said. “The meals are much better, and it is really terrific to have a choice.”

Fresh Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County has no waiting list or income restrictions.

Meals are delivered by friendly, quality volunteers five days a week throughout all of Sheboygan County.

For more information, call 920-451-7011 or visit www.freshmealsonwheels.org.


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