Council on Aging of Central Oregon Receives Grant for its Vital Meals on Wheels Program in Deschutes County


(Photo courtesy of Council on Aging of Central Oregon)

The Council on Aging of Central Oregon (CoA) recently announced that the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation has awarded a $12,500 grant to help support CoA’s Meals on Wheels program in Deschutes County. This funding will be used to purchase food for the program, a need that has increased dramatically due to increased food costs and a surge in people seeking assistance. From July 2021 through June 2022, CoA delivered 90,195 meals across Central Oregon, and since July of 2022 more than 600 clients in Deschutes County have received Meals on Wheels In addition, CoA is currently processing more than 70 clients from our active wait list.

As the only nonprofit focusing solely on the senior population in Central Oregon, and the only one providing Meals on Wheels in Deschutes County, CoA is grateful to be able to build upon the generosity of foundations like the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, which are increasingly investing in basic needs to provide food and shelter, allowing seniors to stay healthy and remain in their homes. Since its inception, the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation has awarded more than $20 million dollars in grants to community non-profit organizations throughout Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane counties.

As noted by Susan Rotella, Executive Director for CoA, “While government funding provides about 70 percent of the Meals on Wheels program costs, this funding has been very limited and does not increase on a per-capita basis. As the older adult populations in Central Oregon grow, we must develop new and deeper partnerships with other nonprofits, foundations and community members to help support our vital Meals on Wheels program.”

CoA’s Meals on Wheels program addresses the basic food and nutritional needs of seniors and adults with disabilities, through home delivery of well-balanced, proportionally appropriate meals. Food is provided by a network of over 150 volunteers at any given time, who help to prepare, cook, package and deliver meals across the tri-county. These deliveries also provide regular social interaction and wellness check-ins for clients. Meals on Wheels also represents a tremendous cost savings to the regional health care system by giving seniors the sustenance they need to stay in their homes and out of institutional care. The average program costs are less than $2,000 per person annually, not including the coordination of volunteer efforts, while accommodating an older adult in a Medicaid facility can cost $125,000 per year according to the American Council on Aging.

Central Oregon adults over 60 and contending with interim and long-term mobility challenges are eligible for Meals on Wheels service at no cost, and the program is not dependent on income level.

About the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation:
The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation is a private, independent foundation representing the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The tribe established a grant making foundation in 1997 and awards annual grants to eligible non-profit organizations in communities in Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane counties.

About the Council on Aging of Central Oregon:
Since 1975, the Council on Aging of Central Oregon (CoA) has served as the designated Area Agency on Aging for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, offering adults aged 60 and older and their loved ones a range of support services. CoA advocates for, empowers and guides older adults and their loved ones to live with independence and well-being. • 541-678-5483 •


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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