Meals On Wheels of San Francisco

A client from the 2011 MOWSF film

Regarding Sequestration and Government Shutdown

Posted October 7, 2013

MOWSF Blog | Press Releases

Meals On Wheels of San FranciscoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement from Ashley C. McCumber, Executive Director of MOWSF

San Francisco, Oct. 7, 2013 –The current political and governance crisis in Washington has devastating impact on seniors across the country.  All Meals On Wheels programs are independent and operate in various ways, some more completely reliant on government funding, while others raise the majority of their funding from local donors.  (Please see “Double Jeopardy for Senior Meals Putting Many at Risk” for a statement from the Meals On Wheels Association of America.)

Meals On Wheels delivers food to homebound seniors.This past fiscal year, Meals On Wheels of San Francisco (MOWSF) received 38% of its annual support from government – specifically the City and County of San Francisco. San Franciscans have helped buffer cuts from Washington with local tax revenue.  This support has been important in stopping the effects of government funding cuts. However, it does nothing to address the explosion of the senior population in the City and the corresponding need for nutrition and services for homebound seniors.

Important Points:

  • MOWSF has grown its number of meals/clients served by 47% since 2007.  This year we will serve over 1.2 million meals in San Francisco.
  • This year, for the first time, MOWSF has had to slow this growth because we did not have the monetary support necessary to guarantee this level of growth.
  • In the first three months of this fiscal year (July to November), we continue to grow at a rate of 8%. If this trend continues, MOWSF will see food expenditures exceed our budget by more than $300K this year.  Without increases in funding, seniors will have to wait longer and longer to begin receiving services.
  • In the past three months, the waiting list for seniors needing home-delivered meals has grown from approximately 80 to as much as 160 individuals.

Current State:

  • MOWSF is not cutting its program for current clients.
  • MOWSF has already taken the steps to slow growth. This has led to an increase in the number of seniors waiting for services and has extended the length of time it takes to receive support.
  • If government continues to stagnate and/or extend sequestration cuts, MOWSF, and other Meals On Wheels programs will need to find other ways to serve clients or be forced to reduce services.
  • MOWSF is not in threat of closure and does not anticipate the City/County of San Francisco will delay payments at this time.
  • Along with the threat to government funding, we are concerned that ongoing lack of action by Washington could hurt the economy and make it a harder for donors to respond to need.


About MOWSF: Founded in 1970, Meals On Wheels of San Francisco is a local, independent non-profit organization. MOWSF exists to alleviate the food insecurity and loneliness experienced by seniors who want to stay in their own home but cannot shop or prepare meals for themselves. Our services are geared towards serving those with the greatest physical, social and economic need.

Our Mission: Meals On Wheels of San Francisco is committed to the belief that all seniors have the right to live independently, with dignity and respect, in their homes for as long as it is safely possible. It is our mission to provide isolated homebound seniors in San Francisco with nutritious meals, daily human contact, and supportive services to prevent their premature institutionalization.

For an interview, please contact Ashley C. McCumber,
Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of San Francisco, at 415-343-1268 (direct), 415-269-1242 (cell) or

For all other media inquiries, please contact Vivien Kim Thorp, Communications Manager of Meals On Wheels of San Francisco at 415-343-1315 or