Our first meal was delivered on January 4, 1971.
The Chico Area Council on Aging, Inc. was incorporated in 1968, long before there were any other agencies involved with senior citizens and the aging, either locally or statewide. Its specific and primary objective was "to plan and implement a course of action which contributes to the well being of the aging people of the Chico area, and in this connection, to study the needs of the aging and take action to meet those needs. Assisting the Board of Directors were executives of various public agencies such as the Butte County Health Department, American Heart Association, Social Security Administration, California Department of Employment, American Red Cross, Chico Evening High School, etc.
One of the first activities undertaken was the compilation of a brochure outlining resources available to older adults in the Chico area with regard to health services, counseling, education, leisure time activities, cultural opportunities, retirement planning, and legal and financial assistance. Also on the list of activities were a study and implementation of programs to provide adequate housing for low-income seniors; classes for persons afflicted with heart disease or those who must care for them; classes for those who wished to serve as "friendly visitors" to the elderly; establishing a center where senior citizens might gather; and a study of transportation needs.
Many of those objectives were accomplished; however, it was discovered that there were elderly and infirm persons in the community who found it difficult or impossible to prepare their own meals, and as a result, Chico Meals on Wheels was established and is now the primary activity of the Chico Area Council on Aging, Inc. Chico Meals on Wheels was founded to provide the elderly and infirm with nutritious, dietetically correct meals, in their own homes. Allowing seniors to remain in their homes, in familiar surroundings where they feel in control of their lives, contributes to independence and good mental attitude. This is also true of the disabled and those recovering from serious illness. Without this service, many clients would have to leave their homes and enter a care facility.
On January 4, 1971, the first meal was delivered, and deliveries have continued every day since. Our program is strictly local, and not connected in any way to any national or state "Meals on Wheels" program or organization. It is administered by a 15-member unpaid Board of Directors. There is no paid Executive Director. Paid employees consist of an Operations Manager who interviews prospective clients and is available to consult with them from time to time, an accountant, and the drivers who deliver the meals daily.