Our Mission is Simple


Our mission is to deliver nutritious meals to the aged, convalescents, homebound and handicapped persons who are unable to shop or cook for themselves, regardless of race, color, creed, age or ability to pay.

Main Line Meals on Wheels History

Main Line Meals on Wheels
was founded in 1972, the result of much time and effort of our founder, Elaine Belmonte. She recruited and organized an initial committee that included the incorporators: Barbara Bailey, Barbara Best, Mary Giersch and Libby Stevens. They along with Nancy Burns and Ada Mutch, served as coordinators at each of the several churches involved in the formation of the program. Committed to meeting the needs of the homebound in our community, they found food providers, generated financial support, worked through the legal requirements and perhaps most importantly, recruited many, loyal volunteers.

The first day of operation, meals were delivered to twenty-four patrons. Now we deliver to one hundred and twenty-four. We now have two operations, one at Bryn Mawr Hospital. The other started at Devon Manor, moved to Paoli Hospital, back to Devon Manor, and now, since Devon Manor closed in 2016, we have partnered with Surrey Services for Seniors. Some 3.2 million meals later, MLMOW continues to work to meet those same and ever increasing needs, inspired by those and the many individuals following them, who contributed to the success of our program, be it through volunteering to pack and deliver, to serve in a leadership capacity and/or to provide financial support.

Over 45 years in addition to the initial committee, there have been many whose tireless work and devotion were key, but a few individuals stand out: Marie O’Neill was the first Executive Director. Her devotion to the cause and her attention to detail carried the program through its first 25 years. Maureen Eisele served as coordinator at Bryn Mawr for 25 years, retiring in 2015. She worked hard, but her personal concern for each of the people we served is what inspires those who follow.

Patricia Sierzant, who served as Executive Director from 2003 – 2019, added a complimentary service to deal with cancelled deliveries due to bad weather. In December, all patrons now receive a snow pack, sponsored by local grocery stores, comprised of non-perishable food items. In addition, whenever possible, patrons receive additional meals prior to significant snow storms, to tide them over until we are able to deliver again.

Of course there would be no program without our volunteers. The list of loyal, long-serving volunteers goes on and on and continues to grow. It is impossible to single out standouts as there are so many. The staff, thankful for the loyal volunteers who faithfully appear week after week, are equally grateful for those who can be called upon at the last minute when problems arise.

In 2006 we started presenting the Charlie Cook Volunteer of the Year AwardCharlie served on the Board of Directors and as President before surrendering to cancer. He guided the program back to Devon Manor in 2005 when Paoli Hospital could no longer accommodate us. The Award honors his memory and recognizes the work of volunteers. Those selected over the years include:

2006 James P. Hopkinson

2007 Dot Wolff

2008 Helen Warner

2009 Ginny Schofield and Helen Tickner

2010 Elaine Belmonte and Barbara Best

2011 Joan Fouracre

2012 Stella Brady and Elizabeth Ivey

2013 Betty Austin

2014 Wild Winter Volunteers

2015 Erik Hendricks

2016 Brant Rudisill

2017 Lee Urias

2018 Maureen Eisele

2019 Ellie Bitter and Jane Weaver

2020 COVID-19 Volunteers

2021 Pantry Aids and Adopters

2022 Ben Floyd

2023 Mike Rodgers and Dale Shimer

Some feel that naming one volunteer each year overlooks too many, and that may be true. Each year we have an annual luncheon to thank all our volunteers and remind them of how important they are to what we do. But of course it all comes down to the people we serve. They come from varied backgrounds and all walks of life. Some live in modest apartments or homes and some live in Main Line mansions. Some are reserved, some very talkative. Over the years we have had the opportunity to serve many veterans with extensive experience in the various branches of Military service. We delivered to a former NBA basketball player, former teachers, doctors, professors, a concert pianist, the list goes on and on. They all were homebound, needed meals, and we delivered.

Our mission is simple...

No Homebound Person Goes Hungry

We deliver two nutritious meals Monday through Friday. And it is not just about the food – everyone gets a daily visit from someone who cares.