New $41M kitchen allows Meals on Wheels to triple capacity

The number of seniors living in San Francisco makes-up over 20% of its population: That’s nearly 170,000 people.

Many live alone and on a fixed income which is nearly impossible in The City.  So where do they turn for help?

Meal on Wheels SF has been taking care of seniors for over 50 years.

Despite a near 300% spike in demand due to COVID-19, this strong nonprofit is still keeping San Francisco seniors healthy even in the midst of a pandemic.

Executive Director Ashley McComber is very proud of the work they have done.

"We set one very clear mission from day one.  If we take care of our staff and our volunteers we’ll take care of clients and won’t be another burden during the pandemic."

A new $41 million kitchen has allowed Meals on Wheels to triple its capacity.

Their staff prepares over 8,000 to 10,000 meals a day.

"We do need to debunk the myth that everyone in SF is doing well.  In fact, about 25% of SF is over the age of 60 or disabled.  And in the seniors, 25% of them live below federal poverty," said McComber.

And many of their clients are isolated, and a door-knock or phone call from a Meals on Wheels Driver might be their only contact with the outside world.

"It’s basically saved my life in some ways, " said Leia Amidon.

The 65-year-old client suffered a spinal injury that left her hospitalized and disabled for nearly a year.

The injury also left the former security consultant penniless so she turned to Meal on Wheels for food, but it goes so much deeper than that.

"I had a seizure. I actually couldn’t move. I couldn’t get to the phone. I was in the hallway," she said. "Day came, evening came and light came back to the windows.  But I knew that delivery person would be there Monday morning."