Healthy Food

Meals on Wheels, a Cincinnati nonprofit bringing healthy ‘rescued’ food to seniors

CINCINNATI — Meals on Wheels announced a new partnership with local nonprofit La Soupe to help deliver healthy food to more seniors in the Tri-State.

“We’re very excited,” said Michael Beck, Meals on Wheels’ chief production officer. “We’ve been working over a year and a half with La Soupe in order to form this partnership and what it is, is we’re taking our strengths and their strengths and putting them together to benefit our seniors.”

100% of the food came from rescued food, meaning the food was donated by local grocery stores and restaurants and would otherwise have been thrown away.

Beck said the work bridges the gap between food waste and food insecurity.

“(We’re) taking rescued food, creating meals that are nutritious for our seniors and then we’re providing the infrastructure to get them out to people in need,” Beck said.

Thanks to inflation and rising costs of food, that need is greater than ever. Rescued food can help with that.

“We’re able to help reduce that cost burden,” said Hannah Griswold, Director of the Food is Medicine Program with La Soupe. “We’re also making it for people who maybe don’t have access to food or they aren’t able to cook for themselves, they don’t have the equipment, the skills, the time.”

This partnership will not only help deliver more healthy and nutritious foods to seniors, but it will also provide them with more options.

“In particular for those with cardiac and diabetic diets that are already restricted. It gives them more options,” Beck said. “That’s something we’ve struggled to offer them, and we’ve been able to tap into the skills and expertise of La Soupe with their chefs to expand our menu options.”

Through this partnership, 200 meals a week will be delivered to local seniors.

La Soupe’s founder, Suzanne DeYoung, said this was a natural partnership.

“What they do, they do really well, but what we do is just prepare the food. So why create the wheel? Let them do what they do, and we do what we do,” she said.

And seniors in need will benefit as a result.