811 23rd Avenue E., Bradenton, FL 34208 (941) 747-4655

Our History
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While initially founded in 1972, with the purpose of providing hot, nutritious meals to the elderly and disabled residents of Manatee County, Meals on Wheels of Manatee, Inc. became so much more. The organization grew over the years in response to community needs, and the “PLUS” was eventually added to the name as a way of representing the many other services offered.

1972: MOW becomes an independent, non-profit community organization.

1972: City of Bradenton donates the old fire station to MOW.

The City of Bradenton donates the old fire station in Bradenton (912 7th Ave E) to MOW for $1.00 to serve as the cooking facility and headquarters for MOW. It takes 6,500 volunteer hours to clean the building up.

1977: MOW 5th Anniversary.

MOW 5th Anniversary, currently serving 625 citizens daily, 370,000 meals have been served to date and 270 volunteers are listed with the agency, 50,805 volunteer hours have been logged, 323,400 miles have been driven to deliver meals.

1981: MOW moves into building at 811 23rd Avenue East.

1982: MOW 10th Anniversary.

MOW 10th Anniversary — MOW serves 1000 meals a day (delivers about 500 and provides 500 at 14 dining spots), employs 10 cooks, enlists help of 350 volunteers, has driven 1,947,623 miles to deliver meals since inception, and meals cost $1.75 each (if participant can afford to pay).

1985: The Food Bank of Manatee is opened.

1988: MOW becomes Meals on Wheels PLUS (MOWP)

MOW becomes Meals on Wheels PLUS (MOWP) of Manatee as PLUS programs expand reach throughout Manatee County.

1991: 4 millionth meal served.

4 millionth meal served, MOWP has a $1.7 million operating budget, employs 44, has 500-600 Volunteers, feeds 1200-1500 people each day (delivers 870 meals, and the remaining meals are served in dining facilities and preschools).

1994: 5 millionth meal served.

5 millionth meal served, MOWP employs 43, feeds 1500 people each day (delivers 900 meals, and the remaining meals are served in dining facilities and preschools) and requires 120 volunteers each day for meal delivery services alone.

2004: MOWP takes over operation of Daybreak Adult Day Center.

MOWP takes over operation of Daybreak Adult Day Center in Lakewood Ranch to provide for the needs of Manatee County seniors.

2008: MOWP Senior Enrichment Center opens to the public.

Doors to the MOWP Senior Enrichment Center, Renaissance on 9th, “officially” open to the public. More than 300 seniors have already purchased annual passes to the Center.

2013: Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee wins the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 Non-Profit of The Year Awards.

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee wins the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 Non-Profit of The Year Awards (selected “Overall” and in the “Health & Human Services” category).

2015: 10 millionth meal delivery is celebrated.

2018: The “Produce on Wheels” program was initiated serving produce to all HDM clients.

The “Produce on Wheels” program was initiated serving produce to all Home-delivered Meals clients.

2018: Food Bank of Manatee becomes an independent Food Bank.

Food Bank of Manatee becomes an independent Food Bank when Feeding America member (Feeding Tampa Bay) changes distribution model.

2018: Post Hurricane Irma, The Food Bank of Manatee distributes more than 52,000 pounds of food.

Post Hurricane Irma, The Food Bank of Manatee distributes more than 52,000 pounds of food and nearly 10 tons of bottled water to almost 1,000 households in Manatee County.

2019: Property adjacent to 811 23rd Ave was purchased for future expansion.

2019: MOWP voted Herald Tribune Readers’ Choice best Non-profit Organization and best Fundraising Event in Manatee County.

2019: MOWP volunteer, Mike Korsch, receives Senior Connection’s Center Salt & Pepper Award.

MOWP volunteer, Mike Korsch, receives Senior Connection’s Center Salt & Pepper Award for outstanding community service and volunteerism in the region.

2020: MOWP voted Herald Tribune Readers’ Choice best Nonprofit Organization in Manatee County.

2020: Impacts of global pandemic, COVID-19, felt in Manatee County.

Impacts of global pandemic, COVID-19, felt in Manatee County. Those over age 65 are particularly vulnerable to pandemic. Daybreak Adult Day Center and Friendship Dining Programs temporarily suspended for client safety. MOWP retools operations of Home-delivered Meals and Food Bank of Manatee to meet the rising needs.

2020: MOWP launches Food4Families, a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Effort.

MOWP, in support of the School District of Manatee, launches Food4Families, a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Effort to help feed Manatee County residents in need of food due to the pandemic. This program requires modification of program delivery as a weekly direct-distribution event to the community as socially-distanced, drive-through events.

2020: Florida unemployment rate climbs to 13.4% due to pandemic.

Florida unemployment rate climbs to 13.4% due to pandemic. Client counts dramatically increase for both home-delivered meals and The Food Bank of Manatee. Volunteers over age 65 are asked to stay home to stay safe. MOWP must serve many more clients with significantly less volunteers.

2020: MOWP remains among the top two nonprofits on the 2020 Giving Challenge Leaderboard.

MOWP remains among the top two nonprofits on the 2020 Giving Challenge Leaderboard for the entirety of the 48-hour campaign. Over 700 nonprofit organizations participate. MOWP donations total over $295,000!

2020: MOWP participates in the Restaurant Initiative organized by the Department of Elder Affairs.

MOWP participates in the Restaurant Initiative organized by the Department of Elder Affairs to help feed seniors in need with restaurants hurting from COVID-19 closures. MOWP serves over 11,200 meals through this program in 2020.

2020: MOWP continues to see record need for home-delivered meal and Food Bank of Manatee programs.

MOWP continues to see record need for home-delivered meal and Food Bank of Manatee programs. Media attention about food-insecurity across the country continues to keep the work of MOWP in the spotlight throughout the region.

2020 11 millionth home-delivered meal served.

11 millionth home-delivered meal served.

2020: Board of Directors vote to permanently close the Senior Enrichment Center.

Due to years of declining enrollment and the further impacts of COVID-19, Board of Directors vote to permanently close the Senior Enrichment Center.

2020: MOWP breaks ground on addition at 301 Campus.

MOWP breaks ground on addition at 301 Campus that will house administrative staff, a Friendship Dining Center, and a Nutrition Training Center.

2020: MOWP releases 2020 calendar year impact report.

MOWP releases 2020 calendar year impact report showing: over 267,000 home-delivered meals served; over 780,000 meals provided through Food4Families; over 3 million pounds of food distributed by The Food Bank of Manatee; over 19,400 volunteer hours served by over 1,000 volunteers; over 1,600 emergency baby baskets containing diapers, formula, and wipes provided to Manatee County residents.

2021: MOWP voted Herald Tribune Readers’ Choice best Nonprofit Organization and best Fundraising Event.

MOWP voted Herald Tribune Readers’ Choice best Nonprofit Organization and best Fundraising Event, Tropical Nights, in Manatee County.

2021: MOWP voted Bradenton Herald People’s Choice winner for best Nonprofit Organization.

MOWP voted Bradenton Herald People’s Choice winner for best Nonprofit Organization.

2021: MOWP voted SRQ Magazine Bronze Medal for best Nonprofit Organization.