Changing lives, one meal at a time.

Portland, OR   |


Our vision is that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation. Our mission is to enrich the lives of seniors, and assist them in maintaining independence, by providing nutritious food, human connections and social support. We also use our expertise and capacity to serve other nutritionally at-risk populations.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Ms. Suzanne Washington

Main address

7710 SW 31st Avenue

Portland, OR 97219 USA

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NTEE code info

Congregate Meals (K34)

Meals on Wheels (K36)

Senior Centers/Services (P81)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We seek to eliminate hunger and loneliness among the elderly.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Senior Dining

Anyone age 60 and older is invited to eat lunch at one of our neighborhood dining rooms throughout the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area.

Population(s) Served

Hot, nutritious meals are delivered by volunteers to homebound seniors who have no other access to food.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon 2023

Oregon Business

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of older adults who receive nutritious meals daily

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program

Meals on Wheels

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We now track total meals since the pandemic.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Senior Dining

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Pandemic brought a rise in meals. Our goal is to never have a waitlist.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide nutritious meals to every senior who requests one without instituting a waiting list.

Unlike more than 70% of senior nutrition programs in this country, Meals on Wheels People has never had a waiting list for meals. We accomplish this through conservative fiscal management and aggressive community fundraising through direct mail solicitation, special events and donor cultivation.

Our organization was founded in 1970 by three women who served 14 Meals on Wheels served on paper plates and wrapped in foil. Today we prepare 5,000 meals each weekday. With a staff of 120, we rely on more than 450 volunteers each day to help fulfill our mission. The Meals on Wheels Program provides homebound elderly with daily visits from our volunteers, often the only contact these elders have with the outside world. Meals are served to anyone age 60 and older in Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties.

Meals on Wheels People recognizes the need to reach out to seniors to help them maintain their independence by remaining healthy and in their own homes. As baby boomers begin to reach the age of 60, the demand for services to promote healthy lifestyles for seniors is increasing dramatically. At the state and local level, fewer economic and social resources are available to support the traditional costs associated with the loss of independence, such as repeat hospitalizations for falls, home care, and permanent skilled or custodial care. We meet the immediate need for nutrition, which in the long term can save taxpayers money by preventing the need for medical intervention or long-term care. It costs about $2,500 to provide an entire year of meals to a senior; by contrast, it costs more than $60,000 to provide a year of nursing home care. No other organization in our service area provide daily hot meals to seniors and 84 cents of every dollar donated is used to provide meals.

Meals on Wheels People maintains a Board of Directors that numbers between 24 and 30 that meets monthly and has responsibility for the oversight of the Executive Director and the operating budget for the organization. The nominating committee of the board has developed a skills matrix in order to ensure that we have a diverse representation of expertise, backgrounds, ethnicities, gender and age. Some of the key skills that we seek are financial, auditing, health, food service, marketing, human resources, legal and technology. The most useful experience that allows our board members to contribute to the success of our organization is that of delivering Meals on Wheels. Most of our board members are regular Meals on Wheels drivers and by providing direct services they experience the very personal and basic needs of our clients. Decisions and planning are conducted with a clear understanding of the issues of those we serve, thus making organizational promotion and planning very grounded. All board members donate and most of them give at the $1,000 or above level annually. Each board member also serves on a subcommittee (Finance, Development, Marketing, etc.). Subcommittees generally meet four to six times a year.

We have managed to provide meals to every senior who requests them without instituting a waiting list for nearly 50 years. That is the ultimate goal of the organization overall. To accomplish that we have worked diligently to raise the funds needed to provide the meals and locate neighborhood centers where they are most needed in our community. We continue to assess our locations and work to update our menu. Our meals are appropriate for most dietary needs, including diabetic, low-sodium and low-cholesterol. We also have a vegetarian option for homebound clients. We recently opened The Diner Vancouver, a restaurant in Vancouver, Wash. that is open to the public daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those age 60 and older, who are enrolled in the Meals on Wheels People program, can order off a special pay-as-you-can-afford senior menu. The diner provides more choice for senior diners as well as a revenue stream for the organization.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 07/13/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Scott Christianson

Ferguson Wellman

Term: 2021 - 2023

Tawnie Nelson

First Interstate Bank

David Drinkward

Hoffman Construction

Marcus Lampros

Alliance Steel

Janet Bean

Portland Kettle Works

Scott Christianson

Ferguson Wellman

Arnie Gardner

Community Member

Tim Kalberg

Perkins & Co.

Ernie Staley

Community Member

Steve Watts

Summit Bank

David Van Speybroeck

Community Member

Sarah Joannides

Community Member

Ashley Osten

Moss Adams LLP

Beth Biggs

Consonus Health

Julie Frantz

Multnomah County Circuit Court

Kate Armstrong


Nengi Diriyai

O'Neill Construction Group

Kristen Erbes

Cambia Health

Amy Malagamba

The Standard

Barbara Basney

Kaiser Permanente

Barry Bahmanyar

MORE Realty

Teri Bowles-Atherton

Providence St. Joseph Health

Carrie Buth

Health Net

Nina Byrd

EXP Consulting

Kathleen Drago


Claudia Knotek

Community Member

Dara Smith

Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Linda Thomas

Adventist Health

Mark Yee

US Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/13/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.