Home Delivered Meal Update
I would like to take this opportunity to explain some changes and to clear up some possible confusion with our contracted home delivered meal program. The NY State Controller’s Office informed the County that we need to “bid” out all contracted services to ensure we are getting the most for every tax dollar we spend. The County is required by law to take the lowest bid to ensure that we are getting the best, most cost effective service possible, unless it can be demonstrated that there is good reason to select a higher bid.
As a result, the home delivered meal contract was bid out in September (as well as all of our contracts over $20,000). Two home delivered bids were received; one from The ARC Wayne for $5.09 per meal and the other bid from Home Meals Services (HMS) for $7.54 per meal.
Both of the agencies are well respected and have over a 30 year history providing meals for our agency’s senior programs. ARC has provided the bulk of the meal preparation and transportation for the home delivered meal program and Lunch Club 60s. The Home Meal Service program has an outstanding history with volunteer recruitment, coordination and meal delivery. The HMS program has over 250 dedicated volunteers that assigned to deliver 150 meals per day to seniors in need.
The two critical components of a successful home delivered meal program are the nutritious meals and caring and committed volunteers to deliver. The meals serve to ensure better health for seniors that are unable to prepare their own meals and the volunteers that deliver the meals also provide a daily safety check on our homebound frail seniors.
There was much deliberation at the Board of Supervisors meeting about this and ultimately ARC was awarded the contract for 2019. Due to the lower cost per meal, ARC will be able to serve approximately 61 more seniors and approximately 12,000 more meals annually with the funds we have designated for this program. With the wave of aging baby boomers and medical advances increasing life expectancy, the amount of meals needed for eligible seniors has dramatically increased and will continue to do so.
In order to facilitate as seamless a transition as possible, I am very pleased to report we now have the best of both worlds. As well as the ability to serve more meals, further good news is that The ARC Wayne and the Home Meal Service Inc., have forged a partnership to combine their strengths and collaborative efforts in the interest of better serving meals to the frail and elderly Wayne County residents.
Starting January 1, 2019, ARC Wayne will administer the program and will be providing all meal prep and delivery to designated volunteer pick up locations and Home Meal Service, Inc. will still play to their strengths of recruiting, training and coordinating volunteers and coordinating routes for the delivery of meals.
If you are currently receiving home delivered meals through our office, be reassured that these changes should in no way impact your service or the meals you are currently receiving. However, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me.