Research & Practice

Assuring frozen meal satisfaction of Meals on Wheels clients

The purpose of the non-profit King County Meals on Wheels (KCMOW) is to deliver meals to the region’s home-bound seniors. Home-delivered meals help seniors maintain their health and continue living independently in their own homes by helping them avoid hospitalization and nursing home placement through improved nutrition. One of their top issues is bringing meals into compliance with nutrition standards and better serve clients with various health conditions. KCMOW has had to substantially reduce the salt and fat content of its frozen meals, and there is concern that the resulting alterations in taste may cause clients to decrease their meal intake or leave the program altogether. The other top issue is that certain ethnic groups are underserved by KCMOW; an estimated 12.4% of the county’s population of people 60 and older is Asian, yet only 3.75% of MOW clients identified themselves as Asian in 2012. An estimated 11.6% of King County’s older adults had limited English skills in 2011, but only about 4.3% of clients in 2012 had limited English skills. These statistics suggest that large segments of the area’s increasingly diverse senior population are not being reached.

The goal of this project was to preemptively prevent clients from compromising their nutritional status due to meal dissatisfaction by:

  • Marketing copy aimed to educate clients on nutritional advantages of KCMOW meals and encourage them to try flavoring with herbs and spices.
  • Completing a grant proposal for ethnic frozen meal development.
  • Developing a survey to enable more precise monitoring and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum, PH Concentration Poster

Author(s): Marina Mednik-Vaksman

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2013