People with mobility issues face a dilemma when it comes to mealtime: Trouble a family member or neighbor to arrange meals for them? Skip meals or eat unhealthy snacks as meals? Move from their home into assisted living facilities and pay for expensive long-term care? There’s another option.

The Hub on Smith offers Home Delivered Meals to eligible individuals who are 60 years of age or older.

The meals are all homemade and prepared at the Hub.

Executive chef Dan Cole and registered dietitian Georgia Boley create menus for the Hub, focusing on nutrition and flavor. The Hub can accommodate some dietary restrictions as well. They currently offer controlled carbohydrate meals, meals that are low sodium, low gluten meals and can accommodate people who have trouble swallowing.

Home-delivered meals help keep people who may not need assisted living in their own homes longer, thereby reducing overall costs of long-term care.

The benefits go well beyond staying at home as you get older.

Drivers deliver a nutritious meal while also providing valuable human connection and are often able to “keep an eye” on people who are homebound — reducing loneliness and increasing safety for the meal recipient.

Meal delivery services also ease the burden of shopping and meal preparation for people who may struggle getting out and reduces risk of slips and falls — the leading cause of injury to people older than 65.

Meal recipients can choose which days they want to receive meals—from once every few days to every day of the week. Meals are delivered by volunteers seven days a week, every day of the year, including holidays. Currently approximately 115 volunteers deliver up to 150 meals every day.

“We could easily deliver 170 — 180 meals each day,” Home Delivered Meals coordinator Holli Weber said.

People who are homebound, even temporarily due to a surgery or health issue, can contact the Hub to determine if the Home Delivered Meals program would help them. The suggested contribution is $5 per meal.

“It’s so simple, but so beneficial,” Weber said, who handles referrals from family and friends of homebound seniors. “I meet with the senior at their home, fill out the paperwork for them and get them on the delivery schedule.”

The Hub on Smith is looking at ways to expand this service to people living near Big Horn. Ideally, an organization or a business would partner with the Hub to provide a series of drivers to take on a new route.

The Hub has volunteers in their 80s and 90s who are delivering meals, and some have been delivering for 20-30 years.

If you or someone you know would benefit from Home Delivered Meals, please contact Holli Weber at the Hub at 307-672-6079. If you or your organization is interested in volunteering, contact Jenny Tribley at [email protected]

This article appeared in the Sheridan Press on February 3rd, 2020.