Hot food, warm smiles, peace of mind

The Health Trust Meals on Wheels program serves physically challenged, homebound individuals, whether they are elderly, are recuperating after a recent hospitalization, or have disabilities confining them to a wheelchair. Our trained drivers, most of whom are volunteers, deliver hot, nutritious meals five days a week, sometimes with the option of a once-a-week frozen meal. Weekend meals, or “boxed lunches,” contain sandwiches for Saturday and salads for Sunday. All meals are served with an individual beverage and fresh fruit. Our drivers also provide daily wellness checks, making sure that our clients are safe, alert and cared for. This service provides peace of mind not only to the clients, but also to their families.


Meals on Wheels also offers case management that connects clients with needed services and helps during a crisis. And we provide pet food for clients with pets through our Pets and their Loving Seniors (PALS) program.

Meals on Wheels currently serves more than 700 clients in Santa Clara County, delivering more than more than 85,000 meals annually. Yet a growing number of seniors continue to live a solitary existence, suffering from the effects of malnutrition because they are physically or financially unable to care for themselves. Many are simply too proud to ask for help. With your increased support, Meal On Wheels can help feed many more seniors and other physically challenged residents. We urge you to become a Meals On Wheels solution partner through your financial contribution. A donation of $70 pays for a week’s worth of meals for a low-income senior. $300 will cover a month of meals. For $3,650, you can feed one of our clients for a full year.

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elderly manThe Health Trust Meals on Wheels program would not be possible without the service of our dedicated volunteers. With limited staff, we rely on volunteers to assemble meals, deliver them, and assist in other ways.

Our greatest need is for volunteers to deliver hot meals and provide companionship to homebound adults during the weekday. Often, our drivers are the only visitors our clients receive in a day. We provide the hot meals, background information about your clients and directions to their homes. You supply your time and energy, as well as the automobile and gasoline to complete your route. Meals are picked up at The Health Jerry Larson Trust Food Basket, 1043 Garland Avenue, near The Alameda in San Jose.

Because of the training involved, as well as the necessity of providing stability for our clients, we have the following requirements:

  • A minimum six-month commitment
  • Availability from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. one day per week
  • A valid driver’s license and auto insurance
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must complete and clear a background check
  • Must have had a Yearly TB test

Pack-Out Volunteers
Pack-Out volunteers assemble the meals according to route and pack them in containers for the drivers. They work at The Health Trust Jerry Larson FOODBasket, 1043 Garland Avenue in San Jose, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Administrative Support
We are always in need of volunteers to help us with office projects, filing, copying and other administrative tasks. Proficiency in Outlook, Word and Excel is desired.

Delivery of Pet Food
Many of our clients have pets who need meals, too! Volunteer to pick-up and sort pet food.

Community Outreach Events
Meals on Wheels is looking for individuals who would be willing to represent us at health fairs and other community outreach events.

Special Projects
Throughout the year, Meals on Wheels is in need of volunteers to help with special projects such as wrapping gifts during the holiday season.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, or want more information about volunteer opportunities please contact:

To apply for Meals on Wheels, you must be a resident of Santa Clara County who is homebound and has difficulty getting your own meals. In other words, you have a need for home-delivered meals due to a medical condition or isolation. You or a family member or a professional caregiver may apply by calling the Meals on Wheels office at 408.961.9870 or toll-free at 800.505.3367.

We request information such as name, address, phone number, health status, etc. We also ask that you provide the name and phone number of a family member or friend whom we can contact if there is an emergency or we do not find you at home. We will send you a service agreement that outlines our services and the contribution that you have agreed to make for your meals. You must sign that agreement and send or fax it back to us before we can start service.

Although there is no charge for this service for qualified applicants, we do request that those who can afford it contribute to the cost of the meals, which is $10 per day. Grants and other funding is available for low-income seniors.

If the route you live on is full, you may be placed on a waiting list until space is available.

If you have further questions, please see our Client Frequently Asked Questions or call our office at 408.961.9870 or toll-free at 800.505.3367.

Friends from Meals On Wheels
Friends from Meals on Wheels is a friendly visitor program that began in April 2016 as a partnership between The Health Trust and the County of Santa Clara’s Senior Nutrition Program.  The goal of Friends from Meals On Wheels is to decrease social isolation among homebound seniors receiving Meals on Wheels. Social isolation is a recognized public health problem that can negatively affect many other aspects of senior health, including increasing risk for falls, depression, cognitive decline, institutionalization, and all-cause mortality. Volunteers provide a weekly home visit or phone call to participating seniors. This regular contact helps seniors develop close friendships with community members. Home visits may include meaningful conversation, playing board games, and even singing or crafting! Free monthly pet food delivery and an in-home exercise program are also offered.


Pets And their Loving Seniors (PALS)
Harold and Arthur Pets and their loving seniorsA few years ago, The Health Trust learned that some low-income clients were sharing their hot meals with their pets because they couldn’t afford pet food. That’s when we created the PALS (Pets And their Loving Seniors) Program. Meals On Wheels PALS provides free pet food to low-income seniors and homebound adults who live with animal companions. Clients select the food that they need for their pets from a list of available items; then community volunteers help to sort, label, and deliver the pet food on a monthly basis. PALS operates entirely on donations, and food is delivered exclusively by volunteers.

Our goal is to provide food resources so that low-income, homebound Meals on Wheels clients can best care for their animal companions – which, in turn, provide them with therapeutic support to help them maintain their health, well-being, and independence. Ensuring adequate nutrition is vital to our clients. Hunger can be life-threatening. The PALS Program ensures that both the pet and owner receive adequate nutrition to maintain good health.
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