Seniors surprised with meal delivery by Select Board member

May 15, 2023

Local town leadership threw their support behind Coastline Elderly Services for Older Americans Month, helping deliver meals to older adults in Dartmouth and other towns. 

Like Coastline’s regular drivers, they greeted adults on their route by name and handed meals to recipients with a hello and friendly conversation.

Robert Fisher and Linda Monteiro had surprises in Dartmouth when Selectman David Tatelbaum greeted them and handed them their meal for the day.

Both enjoyed the visits and the chance to share and receive local news.

“Coastline Elderly Services delivers critical help to our seniors,” Tatelbaum said about the program’s support in Dartmouth. “One stat alone is truly amazing. Last year over 56,000 meals were served to our Dartmouth residents. Thank you, Coastline, for making such a daily difference in our lives!”

Meals on Wheels is a core Coastline program that supports older adults in living independently by providing nutritious weekday meals and well-being checks. 

In 2022, Coastline delivered 434,000 meals in seven South Coast communities.

In the past decade, the number of meals Coastline serves has increased 56 percent even as food costs grew by 53 percent. 

In contrast, federal funding decreased by 2 percent over the same 10-year period from 2013 to 2023. Increases in state funding, while helpful, cover a smaller percentage of program costs and therefore do not make up the financial difference.

Despite the gap, Coastline has made the decision to seek alternative program funding, including fundraising, in order to meet the demand for every older adult who needs meals. Meals are delivered free to recipients with a request for a $2 per meal donation. While some recipients can afford this donation, most cannot.

“Coastline remains committed to serving meals to those who need them, especially those who are unable to leave their home without difficulty,” said Chief Executive Officer Justin Lees. “We continue to work with the South Coast legislative delegation and other opportunities to improve funding support for this important program.”

May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and gifts of older Americans. This year’s theme is Aging Unbound, a topic designed to encourage increased flexibility in thinking about aging and about the benefits when older adults remain engaged, independent, and included, according to the federal Administration for Community Living.

To find out more or to request meal delivery, call Coastline at 508-999-6400.