Ask Joan: Thousands of older adults served by Meals on Wheels
March 4, 2024

Dinner each evening is often a time to gather with family, catch up on our day and enjoy a delicious meal.

For others, mealtime can be stressful and lonely, especially for those of us who don’t have enough to eat. In fact, many people find themselves choosing between buying food or paying for medication or housing.

Joan Hatem-Roy
CEO of AgeSpan

Every day, our agency delivers hot meals to more than 3,000 older adults across 28 cities and towns.

Through this program, Meals on Wheels, volunteer drivers bring food to people who otherwise might not have enough to eat. But these drivers deliver more than just the meals: they provide a friendly visit to our homebound neighbors, a daily safety and wellness check, and peace of mind to family caregivers.

June, one of our Meals on Wheels recipients in the Merrimack Valley, discovered just how valuable the program can be. She receives meals delivered by Emily, one of our many volunteers.

Emily grew concerned one day when June didn’t answer her door. As it turns out, June had a heart attack and was unconscious inside her home. Emily reached out to her AgeSpan contact, then June’s brother was notified, and she got the assistance she needed.

“Because of Meals on Wheels, I am alive today,” June said in a voicemail message.

During the month of March, AgeSpan is joining organizations across the country to promote Meals on Wheels and raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity.

The national Save Lunch campaign, formerly known as March for Meals, is designed to rally communities around our neighbors and protect the essential services that enable so many to remain healthy and independent at home.

Locally, we are inviting elected officials, local businesses, and others to help deliver meals through the month as Community Champions, so they can see firsthand the importance of our nutrition services and raise awareness of the need for this vital service.

We want to continue to address food insecurity, combat social isolation, and enable independent living. Here’s how you can help:

1. Become a volunteer driver. We offer flexible schedules (no nights, weekends, or holidays) and free training. It takes just a few hours a week.

2. Spread the word about our nutrition and meal services or make a referral.

3. Donate to our nutrition programs:

Interested in learning more or volunteering? Contact 978-651-3114 or email

Are you caring for an older adult or need help locating healthy aging resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at You can also call 800-892-0890 or email Joan Hatem-Roy is the chief executive officer of AgeSpan.

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