Meals on Wheels :: About

Board of Directors MOW Staff Advisory Group Funding Sources

Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas, Inc. was founded in 1972 as Mobile Meals of Topeka, Inc. The Junior League was instrumental in establishing the organization. The program was started at the request of The Community Resources Council with input from The American Red Cross, Church Women United, The Menninger Foundation, Shawnee County Health Department, and Medical Society of Topeka. The organization is currently governed by a 16 member Board of Directors.

On October 1, 1992, Meals on Wheels began executing a contract received from the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging and the Kansas Department on Aging. The agency now serves home delivered meals in Shawnee and Jefferson Counties that are funded by the state and federal government. The contract virtually doubled the existing program.

The home delivery service area is divided into routes. Meals on Wheels has grown from 14 routes in 1991 to 57 routes in Topeka, and 11 routes in the counties, presently. Today, funds are provided by a combination of client contributions, private and corporate donations, United Way, local, county, state and federal government grants.

Meals on Wheels home delivered program provides one key element in the ability to live independently for homebound, seniors and disabled individuals in Shawnee and Jefferson counties. Each weekday, a hot meal is brought to their home. Meals on Wheels also provides a daily safety check for clients. Meals are nutritionally balanced, provide variety and are tailored to meet special dietary needs.

In 2011, Meals on Wheels and Topeka Public Schools (TPS) entered into a partnership for the preparation of nearly 1,000 meals per day. Also in 2011, in an effort to meet rural needs, a multi-day delivery of meals began. During the summer of 2012, as senior food insecurity continued to increase, delivery of fresh, ready-to-heat weekend and/or holiday meals were made available to individuals in Jefferson County and rural Shawnee County. These additional meals are delivered on Fridays for Saturday and Sunday consumption and the business day prior to a holiday.

Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas, Inc achieved Magnet Accreditation through The Meals on Wheels Association of America in September of 2011 for demonstrating accountability and success in program safety, program quality, and program efficiency.

In 2017, Meals on Wheels entered into a Management Services Agreement with Midland Care Connection. The goal of the collaboration is to streamline and control administrative expenses i.e. liability insurance, employee health benefits to the greatest extent. The anticipated outcome is that a greater portion of fundraised dollars goes directly to the provision of the meals.

In January 2019, Meals on Wheels moved into the Compass Center located at 2134 SW Westport Drive. The southwest Topeka location features a new commercial kitchen perfect for providing seniors with a hot, nutritious meal.

In 2019, Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas and Lawrence Meals on Wheels joined in a collaboration to work together to feed those in Lawrence and Douglas County.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital prepares meals for those with special dietary restrictions and those meals are then delivered by Lawrence Meals on Wheels volunteers throughout Lawrence.
Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas then prepares and delivers all other meals needed in Lawrence and Douglas County.
Together we will ensure that no senior goes hungry!


Karren Weichert, Chair

Heidi Pickerell, Vice Chair

Cynthia Crabb, Treasurer

Heidi Pickerell

Kristi Leonard
Director of Senior Services

Kim Williams
Donor Liaison

Shelby Kingsley
Program Assesor

Stacy Campbell
Volunteer Coordinator

Joanna Powell
Program Assistant

Ammi Ramirez-Williams
Service Delivery Assistant

Dining Center service providers must establish an advisory group, to include eligible participants of the program and individuals who are knowledgeable of the needs of older adults. Participants and representatives of each of our dining centers listed below are invited to participate in a quarterly meeting. The meeting is held on the third Tuesday of March, June, September and December at 2:00 pm at the Meals on Wheels Office..

  • East Topeka Senior Center
  • First Apartments Dining Center
  • Highland Park United Methodist Church Dining Center
  • Lulac Multipurpose Center
  • Papan’s Landing Senior Center
  • Tyler Towers Dining Center
  • Madison Street Apartmentsr
  • Auburn Civic Center
  • Rossville Senior Center
  • Silver Lake Senior Center
  • St. Aloysius Church in Meriden Dining Center
  • Baldwin Healthcare and Rehab
  • Babcock Place Apartments
  • Eudora Parks and Recreation
  • Midland Care Lawrence-Perry Street
  • Client Contributions
  • City of Topeka
  • Fundraisers
  • Grants
  • Memorials
  • Older Americans Act-Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging
  • Private Contributions
  • Shawnee County
  • United Way of Greater Topeka

Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas, Inc
Address: 2134 SW Westport Dr, Topeka, Kansas 66614 | Mail: 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, Kansas  66606
785-430-2186 | Fax 1-844-395-8849

Meals on Wheels CFC #31757