PIQUA — Piqua Meals on Wheels has been serving the community for 45 years. The original organization started in the early 1970s when Vi Das, wife of the late Dr. Ramon Das, saw a need for meal service for the elderly and home-bound in the Piqua community. Several people, including Jean Wilson Reed and Jean Bredeson, along with Vi Das, served on the initial board of directors.
Originally, Piqua Meals on Wheels delivered meals seven days a week. Clients could get a hot meal at lunchtime with the option of a brown bag dinner. Meals were even delivered throughout the blizzard of 1978 with the help of the Piqua Fire and Rescue Department. Meals were purchased through the food services of Piqua Memorial Hospital. Martha Fraley was the original client coordinator, working together with the nutritional services of Piqua Memorial to set up meal plans and deliveries. Originally, all drivers delivering meals were volunteers, with a rotation of a different driver making deliveries each day of the week.
Bob Bomhard, pictured, was one of the volunteer drivers. After retiring from servicing machines for Burroughs (now Unisys), he was looking for a way to give back to the community and began driving for Meals on Wheels. He has come full circle and is now a client receiving meal services through Meals on Wheels. At 94 years old, though he still does limited driving on his own, Meals on Wheels allows him to receive doctor-approved, nutritious meals delivered to his home. He also enjoys visiting with his friendly driver when she delivers his meals.
Meals on Wheels currently operates five days a week, delivering hot, nourishing meals Monday through Friday at lunch time. Meals are purchased through the food services of Koester Pavilion. Meals on Wheels is run by volunteer board members, who meet throughout the year to keep the program running. Each member takes turns manning the phone, interviewing clients, and arranging the deliveries. The organization has a part-time paid executive director and the drivers are now paid for their services. Meals on Wheels of Piqua is not associated with any state or government organization. This allows meal delivery to be available to all Piqua residents, regardless of age or income.
Funding for Meals on Wheels comes through United Way and several other grants and generous donors known as Meal Partners. Recently, Meals on Wheels has been the recipient of several bequests which allows them to subsidize and reduce the cost of meals for its clients.
Anyone in need of or interested in this valuable community service is encouraged to call the organization at (937) 615-0940. Those looking for a volunteer opportunity can also call this number as new board members are always welcome.