Central New York, Community, Food, Non-profit

Meals on Wheels Combines Services, Cuts Costs to Serve More Residents

The chapter changed its name to better represent the 12 towns it now serves. © 2018 Natalie Maier

Click play to hear more about how the Eastern Onondaga County chapter is adapting to serve more residents. 

Audio Transcript: Changes Come to Meals on Wheels

By Natalie Maier FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Meals on Wheels of FM-JD will now serve residents in East Syracuse, consolidating with that area’s previously existing chapter. The change occurs as the chapters look to combine services and collaborate on buying in order to better serve all of their residents.

“A lot of people assume that, because we’re in Fayetteville, there isn’t a need for Meals on Wheels, that it’s an affluent area and that nobody really needs it. But it’s not based on your financial income, it’s not based on your age. It’s based on the need.”

With new territory comes a new name; Meals on Wheels of Eastern Onondaga County. New Executive Director Julie Billings said she hopes the name change will help bring awareness to the chapter’s outreach.

“We’re really looking to build exposure,” said Billings, “We want to build awareness that we do service the rural communities.”

Another goal of Billings’ is to collaborate with other services for seniors in the area. She said she plans to visit local Senior Centers to get a better understanding of what services they provide, so Meals on Wheels can then refer their residents who come with multiple needs.

“We really want to create a system of comprehensive care,” said Billings.

Julie Billings (left) and Terri Davis (right) will lead local volunteers to serve around 150 residents per day. © 2018 Natalie Maier

Billings joins Terri Davis, current director at the Fayetteville location. Davis will continue to oversee the operations, while Billings focuses on things like volunteer recruitment, event planning, social media, and serving more residents.

For more information on Meals on Wheels of Eastern Onondaga County, visit mealsonwheelseastonondaga.org.