Chestnut Hill Meals on Wheels is a community-based, non profit organization devoted to meeting the daily nutritional needs of any of our neighbors challenged by illness, disability or age. Respecting our clients’ desire to live independently, our dedicated corps of caring volunteers home deliver two fresh meals each day, five days a week. Forced isolation is avoided; interpersonal relations between client and volunteer develop and individual freedom is supported.
Since its inception, CHMOW has been a neighbor-helping-neighbor enterprise. In 1974, Barbara Russell, chair of the Chestnut Hill Community Association health committee visited Northwest Meals on Wheels in Germantown to learn how home delivered meals benefitted those who received them. She began a campaign for a Chestnut Hill route for people who wanted to remain in their homes as they got older or recuperated from illness or surgery. She was assisted by Mary Anna Ross, CHCA board member and paid Director of NWMOW.
In its ‘74-‘75 budget, the board of CHCA allocated $1,000 to get the program started in Chestnut Hill. With the help of John Golden, Vice President of General Services at Chestnut Hill Hospital, and Jack Francis, Head of Food Services, the program was given a home at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Two meals were delivered each day, Monday through Friday, starting in 1975.
And while some things may have changed over the years, our 5-day service 52 weeks per year has continued uninterrupted.
In 2009, we became an independent 501 (c)(3), moving from under the umbrella of CHBA. We relocated our operations to Keystone House where we remained until September of 2014.
On October 1st, 2014, we relocated our office to the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, grateful for the rent-free space, and shifted meal operations to Halligan’s Pub in Flourtown. Halligan's graciously prepared meals for delivery, with our volunteers packing coolers in the parking lot or inside the vestibule. With the COVID pandemic in March of 2020, the restaurant was forced to close, and again we shifted we shifted locations, this time to the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian. The Hill at Whitemarsh generously provided lunchtime fare and Manna on Main Street prepared nutritious dinners. In the fall of 2021, the church graciously offered to provide an ongoing home for us in their former preschool space.
CHMOW has been delivering fresh meals five days a week with the help of 100+ volunteers. This caring and vigilant band bring much to our clients aside from the healthy food. They provide a sense of security as clients know someone will look in on them each day, even if/when their loved ones cannot. Volunteers keep clients connected to the outside world as stories are shared and friendships grow over time. Clients are able to maintain independence and remain in their homes because of our service.
We look forward bringing this service to the doorsteps of many more of our neighbors challenged by food insecurity. Help us in our quest to find them. If you know someone who needs food delivery, please call our office at 215.233.5555.