Social Service Program
Local social service programs benefit communities globally. For instance, the local government of San Joaquin County in Stockton, California, designed the Meal on Wheels program. This program delivers frozen foods to older adults who live alone and cannot afford to pay for food from markets as they do not have any income source. The San Joaquin County employees who work for the Meals on Wheels program deliver frozen food of 5 types once a week to beneficiaries, all of whom must be older than 60 years to qualify for assistance. San Joaquin County prioritizes frail older adults when budgeting for the Meals on Wheels program, as they are most in need of assistance because they cannot work to earn income that they can use to buy food.
The Meals on Wheels plan also ensures that beneficiaries enjoy fresh fruit and milk to eat nutritious food even when they cannot afford it. Menus delivered to older adults adhere to the Federal Guidelines for nutrition as meals are reviewed by two nutritionists every week (Human Services Agency, n.d.). All meals delivered through the Meals on Wheels plan have low quantities of sugar, fat, and salt as a way to ensure that recipients eat balanced food. The Meals on Wheels deliveries are done once a week at 2 p.m., but there is no set time limit on when older adults can receive their packages. Currently, the local government of San Joaquin County expects beneficiaries to contribute $2 for every meal, but this is not a mandatory requirement (Human Services Agency, n.d.). Even persons who cannot afford this service charge still benefit from the Meals on Wheels plan. Overall, the Meals on Wheels program helps beneficiaries to access nutritious food at negligible or no cost.
Human Services Agency. (n.d.). Meals on Wheels. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from https://www.sjchsa.org/Assistance/Food-Assistance/Meals-on-Wheels
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Share with the class a local social service program that benefits your community (that is not listed in this chapter). These programs can be found on your local county website (usually under social services).
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