Our Mission:

To assist individuals to live independently by providing nutrition and caring, supportive services.

THE “PLUS” IS BECAUSE WE ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN MEALS!

About Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee

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.

Think of Meals on Wheels PLUS in terms of a gigantic umbrella. Underneath the umbrella are all the PLUS programs including:

  • Home-delivered Meals
  • The Food Bank of Manatee
  • Daybreak Adult Day Center
  • Friendship Dining Centers
  • Enrichment Center

Our organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Approval from GuideStar due to our strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Through our programs and services, and the generous funding of our community, we are able to service more clients, members, and families each year. We are proud of all of the services we can provide to the community, and we invite you to tour our facilities.

Thank you for your interest in Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.

The History of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee

  • 1972
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County is formed by Helen Blue and Reverend Kenneth Baar, serving prepared and heated food to those in need of assistance.
  • 1974
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County opens first congregate dining center.
  • 1976
    Special Senate committee calls for a national Meals on Wheels program to help aid local communities.
  • 1977
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County celebrates 5th anniversary, serving 625 citizens daily and utilizing 270 volunteers.
  • 1978
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County, with support from the Bradenton Board of Adjustments, moves the dining facility to downtown Bradenton.
  • 1981
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County sets up headquarters at the building at 811 23rd Avenue East.
  • 1982
    Meals on Wheels of Manatee County celebrates 10th anniversary, delivering 500 meals a day and providing 500 more at dining centers, employs 10 cooks, and enlists 350 volunteers.
  • 1985
    Seeing a growing need of hunger in Manatee County, The Food Bank of Manatee is founded.
  • 1988
    After adding more services and programs, Meals on Wheels adopts the PLUS (Providing Loving Understanding Services) and becomes Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.
  • 1990
    Meals on Wheels PLUS serves approximately 1,400 meals a day, employs 12 cooks, and enlists 700 volunteers.
  • 2008
    Doors to the Meals on Wheels PLUS Enrichment Center officially open with more than 300 annual memberships purchased.
  • 2014
    The Food Bank of Manatee distributes benchmark total of 4 million pounds of food.
  • 2015
    Meals on Wheels PLUS serves 10 millionth meal and Daybreak Adult Day Center opens its doors in Lakewood Ranch.
  • 2017
    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.
  • 2018
    Meals on Wheels PLUS volunteers start delivering fresh produce to home bound seniors and dinner meals to qualifying clients. Through a grant provided by Bradenton Kiwanis, The Food Bank of Manatee receives a new refrigerated mobile produce pantry with the purpose of distributing produce to children and families.