Portland, OR. The Rose Festival will honor the more than 5,000 volunteers who annually donate over two million hours to help serve seniors through Meals on Wheels People. As the 2019 Portland Rose Festival official charity, Meals on Wheels People will be featured at events and celebrations including appearances in PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade and the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.

Meals on Wheels People has been changing lives, one meal at a time, since 1970.

Volunteers provide more than a meal to thousands of older adults in the greater Portland metro area.

A bit of history: In 1970, three women got together in the basement of a church in Southeast Portland to prepare and serve a hot lunch to about a dozen seniors. From 14 newspaper-wrapped meals then, to nearly 12,000 seniors served annually today, Meals on Wheels People of Portland is now among the top 10 largest senior nutrition programs in the country, and one of the very few that has never had a waiting list for meals.

“Hunger is one of the most desperate and frightening feelings anyone, let alone an isolated senior, can experience,” says Teri Bowles-Atherton (President of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation). “The Rose Festival is proud to partner with Meals on Wheels People as our Official Charity. Not only do they take care of seniors in need, they also make ethnic dishes for this very diverse community, and offer the Meals 4 kids program serving children and families experiencing low food security.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Rose Festival as their 2019 Official Charity,” said Suzanne Washington (Meals on Wheels People CEO). “This opportunity allows us to reach a broad audience with our vision that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation. We look forward to joining in the many activities sponsored by the Rose Festival and sharing those with our senior participants.”

Their service not only alleviates hunger and social isolation, but allows seniors to live independently with dignity in their own homes. Aging in place reduces depression, falls and hospitalization as well as the high cost of institutional care.

From Meals on Wheels People:


No senior will go hungry or experience social isolation.


We 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.


  • Integrity – We work in a trustworthy, compassionate and and ethical manner.
  • Respect – We value the self-worth of our staff, volunteers and populations we serve.
  • Inclusion – We are strengthened by diversity.
  • Creativity – We are innovative and willing to try new approaches.
  • Commitment – We demonstrate quality performance and dedication.
  • Teamwork – Together we accomplish more.

Would you like to volunteer? Here’s a link to the Meals on Wheels People website: https://www.mowp.org