Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Providing meals and resources to older adults and persons with disabilities.

North RIverside, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

EIN: 36-4461669


The Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois provides philanthropic support for the Community Nutrition Network, allowing it to provide meals and resources to older Americans and people with disabilities, assisting them in leading active healthy lives.

Ruling year info



Lauren Doherty

Main address

7222 W Cermak Road Suite 302

North RIverside, IL 60546 USA

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Formerly known as

Meals on Wheels Foundation of Cook County



Subject area info


Food delivery

Dining services

Senior services

Population served info


Low-income people

People with disabilities

People with physical disabilities

NTEE code info

Meals on Wheels (K36)

Congregate Meals (K34)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms



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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois

The Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to home bound older adults in suburban Cook, Kendall and Grundy counties. The congregate dining programs provide meals to active older adults in a cafe setting.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

For those who are immobile or not mobile enough to get to sources of food or who have no means of transportation, hot nutritious meals are delivered by volunteers during the week. Self-stable emergency meals to be used when severe weather makes delivery impossible, weekend, and evening meals are provided by trained volunteers who also conduct a daily wellness check and summon help when needed.

Population(s) Served
People with physical disabilities

Meals are provided at nine café locations in Suburban Cook Grundy and Kendall Counties for those seniors who can travel to receive them.

The related problems of food insecurity and depression related to loneliness, are well-documented for the at-risk population of older Americans we serve. We offer socialization and health and wellness education programs at our cafés and person-to-person greetings when delivering meals to homes.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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 clients served

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

Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of program sites

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

Cafe sites

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


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.

Over 450,000 seniors in Illinois are threatened by hunger. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Kendall County had 18,037 residents aged 60+ in 2021, and of these, American Community Survey’s 2021 1-Year Estimates gauges that 5% are 100% below poverty level, 32.7% live alone, and 25% are person with disabilities. Our programs in Kendall County ensure that homebound and medically fragile seniors can get the nutrition they need: 57.09% of our clients in Kendall County live alone, 36.22% are low income, and 77.56% are categorized as frail. The same survey estimates that Cook County had 1,132,020 residents aged 60+ in 2021. Of these, 12.9% are estimated to be 100% below the poverty line, 44.1% live alone, and 27.4% are persons with disabilities. In Grundy County, it was estimated that 10,358 residents are aged 60+. Of these older adults, 5.7 % are estimated to be 100% below the poverty line, 41.1% live alone, and 22.4% are persons with disabilities. Lastly, American Community Survey’s 2021 1-year Estimates gauges that 139,458 residents in Will County are aged 60+. Of these residents, it is estimated that 6.7% are 100% below the poverty line, 35.6% live alone, and 24.5% are persons with disabilities.
The Meals on Wheels program helps delay the need for older adults or persons with disabilities to be in a long-term care or assisted living facility which can be very costly to our participants. Being enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program keeps older adults and persons with disabilities healthier and more independent in their own surroundings. The cost of a full year of Home Delivered Meals is about the same cost as staying in a nursing home, assisted living facility or a hospital for just one.

–To keep people healthy and safely living in their homes and out of nursing homes and hospitals.

–To better serve all seniors in our service area by strategically growing our programs, using market research and strategic planning.

Long Term baseline (What is the current level of care?)

–Mental Health Improvement Goal:

–The consulting firm CBWhite is currently doing programming market research. We will be resuming strategic planning and brand strategy in spring 2023.

Long Term Outcomes (Changes that will occur as a result of your work)

–We anticipate that participation in our home delivery programs will cause lower levels of depression and anxiety, reduced sense of loneliness and isolation, improvements in self-reported health, increased feelings of safety, increased ability to remain in home, reduction in self-reported hospitalization, and reduction in number of falls as compared to individuals with demographics similar to our clients who are not enrolled in a Meals on Wheels program. As described by our responses to the question involving program evaluation, we use research conducted by Meals on Wheels America to understand the long-term outcomes of our work.

–Understanding our next steps for growth; growth planning incorporated into our strategic plan.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
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 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 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 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 tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois
Fiscal year: Oct 01 - Sep 30
Financial documents
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 172.35 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 32.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$75,711 $74,114 $598,564 $1,223,379 $410,974
As % of expenses -6.5% 7.2% 57.2% 85.8% 30.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$85,428 $64,377 $588,826 $1,213,642 $403,678
As % of expenses -7.2% 6.2% 55.7% 84.5% 30.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,094,297 $1,105,338 $1,680,584 $2,687,877 $1,742,566
Total revenue, % change over prior year 1.7% 1.0% 52.0% 59.9% -35.2%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 99.9% 99.2% 100.0% 100.0% 99.6%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,171,247 $1,033,128 $1,047,271 $1,426,247 $1,331,444
Total expenses, % change over prior year 9.8% -11.8% 1.4% 36.2% -6.6%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Professional fees 16.1% 17.7% 33.3% 23.0% 31.1%
Occupancy 1.7% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 52.9% 47.3% 46.9% 53.9% 39.3%
All other expenses 29.3% 34.4% 19.9% 23.1% 29.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,180,964 $1,042,865 $1,057,009 $1,435,984 $1,338,740
One month of savings $97,604 $86,094 $87,273 $118,854 $110,954
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $24,284 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,302,852 $1,128,959 $1,144,282 $1,554,838 $1,449,694

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 12.4 15.5 22.9 28.5 31.5
Months of cash and investments 12.4 15.5 22.9 28.5 31.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 14.7 17.6 24.2 28.1 33.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $1,211,976 $1,333,487 $2,001,774 $3,388,778 $3,495,942
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $179 $0 $44,250 $38,250
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $93,433 $62,321 $62,321 $62,321 $62,321
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 58.3% 53.1% 68.8% 84.4% 96.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.1% 0.5% 0.2% 2.4% 0.7%
Unrestricted net assets $1,477,048 $1,541,425 $2,130,251 $3,343,893 $3,747,571
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $35,000 $74,452 $27,437
Total net assets $1,477,048 $1,541,425 $2,165,251 $3,418,345 $3,775,008

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Lauren Doherty

Lauren is a mission-driven social service executive with a degree in foods and nutritional sciences and is a graduate of the Didactic Program of Dietetics with a minor in Business Administration and coursework in International Studies with additional coursework in nonprofit management and senior services. She has been a committed volunteer since age 12 primarily with agencies working to end youth homelessness and was a Meals on Wheels volunteer in San Diego before moving to Chicago. The former Director of Operations, she served as Acting Administrator before being named CEO in 2017.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Meals On Wheels Foundation Of Northern Illinois

Board of directors
as of 06/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Michael Seng

John Marshall Law School

Michael P. Seng

Professor - John Marshall Law School

Brian Gilbert

CFO - Ragan Communications

Caroline Kwiatkowski

Nykole Hanna

George Shea

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/25/2023

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/30/2023

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 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.
Policies and processes
  • 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.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.