Meals on Wheels to expand services and program offerings

COUNTY — Beginning July 1, Pickens County Meals on Wheels (PCMOW) will expand its programs and service offerings to include not only home-delivered meals, but also congregate meals and activities including health promotion and disease prevention education.

This change is in response to the consolidation of Seniors Unlimited’s senior centers and the agency’s closure on June 30, 2014. The decision to expand its operation was not taken lightly.

“We are committed to meeting the needs of seniors in our community,” executive director Meta Bowers said. “We believe we are the only agency in Pickens County that is capable and willing to step in and safeguard services for seniors in Pickens County. This is a direct expansion of what we do best: feed and care for seniors.”

The expansion will result in the agency growing from its current level of serving 240 home-delivered meals per day to serving more than 310 meals per day, a 23 percent increase in the daily workload. In addition, PCMOW will begin serving a minimum of 25 people daily day through the congregate meals program starting July 1.

“In a perfect world, every older adult would have nearby relatives or neighbors to help prepare meals and visit regularly, but too many members of Pickens County’s senior population have no such support system,” Bowers said.

Providing congregate meals will be a major addition to PCMOW’s services. Both congregate and home delivered meal programs are about more than the meal. The services are crucial to helping people maintain their nutritional health, feel connected in the community and continue living safely in their own homes. For many seniors, this is the only social contact they may have that day. These services are so important in fighting isolation and helping older adults remain active and healthy.

“Our vision is to provide senior programming that will provide a continuum of care for active, aging and homebound individuals in Pickens County,” Bowers said. “By connecting seniors to the services they need, we will aid in their long-term independence in a cost-effective manner.”

To implement these program changes, PCMOW has welcomed Valerie Meador, RD, LDN to its staff.

“It is so exciting to be part of expanding services to those that need it most,” Meador said. “As a dietitian, I am very excited about developing and implementing programs that will help prevent and manage chronic diseases and improve the health of our community.”

According to Meador, PCMOW intends to tailor services to the needs and wants of the seniors in Pickens County. Planned senior center activities and programs will include nutritious noon meals and socialization, nutritional education, structured fitness and exercise classes, educational programming, games, computer classes, music and dance as well as arts and crafts.

The program’s headquarters will continue to be based at its office in Easley. Congregate meals and activities will continue to be offered at the Rosewood Center in Liberty. The final goal will be to re-locate both to the new PCMOW kitchen (310 W. Main St. Liberty) when it is completed. Construction is scheduled to start later this fall.

Pickens County Meals on Wheels is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, that exists to combat the effects of hunger, loneliness and isolation on those living in Pickens County and provide a lifeline through the use of caring volunteers.

Meals on Wheels serves all communities in Pickens County. To find out more about Meals on Wheels and the importance of the work they do in Pickens County, visit; call 855-3770 or email