Murrysville Meals-On-Wheels was started on February 21, 1972 by Deem Spears and Carole Zinn. They started by serving 8 clients, twice a week asking for a donation of $1.00 a day. We now serve 45-50 clients, 2 meals a day, 4 times a week yet in spite of inflation the donation is only $3.00 a day.
Penn-Franklin News, Murrysville, PA February 1972
Kathy Campbell, Joan Hart, Elvira Porterfield, Jean Von-dracek, Helen Lindley and Willie Macrae, (left to right) were in the kitchen of the First Presbyterian Church of Murrysville Monday to prepare the first Meals on Wheels which were later delivered to eight recipients in the Franklin Area. The second meal was delivered Thursday.
The concept of feeding frail elderly and shut-in persons in their own homes was developed in England during World War II as a result of almost total disruption of food services. The home-delivered food program was given the name, Meals On Wheels, for the obvious reason that prepared food was delivered by an automobile to the homes of the elderly and shut-ins.
The British Red Cross Society and the Women's Voluntary Service carried out the initial effort in England. The program proved so successful that the British government elected to continue this service and today more than one million hot meals per year are delivered in London. The program has spread into Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, India, Israel, Barbados, and throughout the British Isles and the United States.
Here in the United States, Meals On Wheels began in Philadelphia in 1954. The Lutheran Service Society started the first Meals On Wheels kitchen in Pittsburgh in 1968 on the North Side. The program launched with 17 clients.
Meals On Wheels serves approximately 2,500 people per day or over 2 million meals per year! Today more than 5,750 volunteers, serving in many ways, help keep the "wheels rolling"!