Start Here: MIFA Meals on Wheels

Delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors is a beloved volunteer activity in cities and towns across the country. At MIFA, we have provided meals to seniors who are homebound since 1976. You can be part of this tradition of service. Learn more below!

How Does It Work?

MIFA delivers about 600,000 meals to 4,000 seniors each year. Some clients receive deliveries at their homes because they are homebound or disabled; others dine at congregate meal sites with other seniors.

Clients who receive home-delivered meals are split into groupings called routes, which are delivered by paid staff and by volunteers. MIFA currently has about 40 volunteer routes that have to be covered each delivery day; each of these routes includes 10 to 20 client stops within a neighborhood or area in Memphis.

Volunteers arrive at MIFA between 9 and 10 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings to pick up their meals and scheduled route assignments. The ServTracker Mobile Meals app guides the volunteer via GPS directions from MIFA to their first address on the route, then to each subsequent delivery location until the route is complete. Volunteers mark the delivery status of each stop in the app, and this information is sent back to our staff in the office. Delivering a route usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

Clients typically receive a combination of hot and frozen meals. Frozen meals can be stored and eaten on days when we don't deliver. Safe food handling and temperature control are extremely important when delivering meals; foodborne illness can be very dangerous to seniors. The training you receive as a new volunteer will help you ensure that food is handled properly.

For some homebound seniors, the volunteer who delivers their meal will be the only person they see that day. Volunteers share a friendly greeting that breaks the isolation many seniors feel. We believe the impact of this visit can be as important as the nutrition we provide.

“Thank you for the meals and for the people that bring them. Sometime I should say they are the only people that I ever get to see.” - MIFA Meals on Wheels client

Volunteers can deliver meals alone, but many volunteers prefer to work with a partner. If you'd like to "test drive" Meals on Wheels delivery, we can pair you with an experienced volunteer for a ride-along before you deliver on your own.

Some MIFA Meals on Wheels volunteers continue to deliver meals after 10, 20, or even 30 years. Join us for this treasured opportunity to serve your senior neighbors. 

Who Can Volunteer?

This is a great opportunity for individuals and groups, and we welcome both one-time and recurring volunteers. Volunteers will need reliable transportation to deliver meals and are expected to maintain a valid driver's license and vehicle insurance.

All volunteers must complete a volunteer application; a parent or guardian must consent for those under 18. Adult volunteers also submit to a background check to help ensure the safety of our clients. 

How Do I Get Started?

We ask that all new volunteers review the training slideshow and the Meals on Wheels volunteer handbook to gain an understanding of the responsibilities and benefits of serving as a MIFA Meals on Wheels volunteer. This video also gives you an idea of what to expect when you arrive at MIFA for your route.

When you are ready, complete the volunteer application online (if you are volunteering with a group, please use the group volunteer application). Once your application has been processed, a member of our engagement team will be in touch to help you schedule your in-person training and your first meal delivery.

Contact Us

If have questions and would like to reach out, please feel free to contact our team.

Individual volunteers, please contact:
Marcie Lynne Williams
(901) 529-4521

Groups, please contact:
Angela Scott
(901) 529-4558