Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions about the Meals on Wheels program. Additional information about our services, volunteering and how to make a donation, can be accessed from the main menu. If you don’t see what you’re looking for on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


What is in a Meals on Wheels meal?When are the meals delivered? | Who delivers the meals?How are the meals prepared?How much does the service cost?Who is eligible to receive a Meals on Wheels meal? | How can I receive Meals on Wheels meals? |  How long is the waiting list? | How many meals does Meals on Wheels Durham deliver each day? |


Q. What is in a Meals on Wheels meal?

We currently offer daily hot meal delivery and a one-week frozen meal box delivery (multiple meals in one delivery). 

Both the hot and frozen meals offer nutritious, low-fat meals each containing 1/3 of the minimum daily nutritional requirements for senior adults.

Each meal includes the following:

  • One serving of lean protein (beef, chicken, pork)
  • Two servings of complex carbohydrates (usually 1 bread and 1 starch)
  • Two servings of either a fruit or a vegetable
  • Eight ounces of milk

Nutritionally, each meal contains:

  • At least 700 calories
  • Less than 1,300 mg of sodium
  • Less than 30% of its calories from fat

In addition, if a client has a life-threatening allergy to a menu item, we can, in limited cases, make substitutions. A client must provide a doctor's note in order to receive a substitute meal. 



Q. When are the meals delivered?

Meals are generally delivered between 9:30 am and 1:00 pm, Monday to Friday.



Q. Who delivers the meals?

The meals are delivered by friendly volunteers who are the heart and soul of the program, and whose warm, human touch means so much to our clients. Without their selfless dedication, we could not serve the meals we provide each weekday in Durham County.
We are constantly looking for additional volunteers to deliver meals. If you think you’d like to volunteer, even for just one day per month, please call (919) 667-9424, or follow this link to view more information about volunteering.



Q. How are the meals prepared?

Meals on Wheels Durham maintains a contract with a professional foodservice company in Durham which prepares each day’s meals. The foodservice company delivers the packaged meals to us and we deliver them to clients’ homes.
Note: Each day’s meal is prepared, packaged, and delivered under strict food safety guidelines to minimize the risk of contamination. The hot meals are cooked the same day they are delivered to our clients. Frozen meals are prepared a week in advance in order to maintain safety guidelines for meal preparation, cooling, and freezing standards.



Q. How much does the service cost?

If you wish to start receiving meals right away, you can avoid the waiting list for donor-funded meals by contributing $5.00 to the cost of each meal. For clients receiving SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps), that contribution level is $3.80 per meal. 



Q. Who is eligible to receive a Meals on Wheels meal?

The services of Meals on Wheels Durham may be available to any resident of Durham County who is homebound as the result of age, disability, or illness. Most recipients live alone and are handicapped, malnourished, elderly, or otherwise unable to prepare food for themselves. People of all incomes and ages may be eligible for meals. Meals on Wheels Durham does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.



Q. How can I receive Meals on Wheels meals?

If you think you may be eligible to receive home-delivered meals from Meals on Wheels Durham, or know someone who may benefit from this service, please submit an Application for Services to Meals on Wheels Durham. One of our staff will contact you.  Please be aware that there is a waiting list for donor-funded meals. 



Q. How long is the waiting list?

Meals on Wheels Durham, in partnership with the Durham County Department of Social Services, works to provide meals to Durham County seniors at no cost. The waiting list is addressed on a first come, first served basis. The average wait time to receive cost-free meals is six months to a year. However, if a client wants to enroll in our Privat Pay Program, there is not waitlist.



Q. How many meals does Meals on Wheels Durham deliver each day?

We currently deliver to over just over 550 clients weekly—over 120,000 meals a year. The number of referrals we are receiving increases each year, and we need your support to continue to meet the needs of Durham County’s growing older adult population. Please consider supporting our mission and homebound seniors!