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Services Vary in Menu, Manner : Most Meal-Delivery Programs Operate Five Days a Week

August 12, 1988|BETH CRAWFORD VINCENT

Variety is the spice of Orange County's home-meal-delivery programs, and not just in the food.

In size, they range from the 20 meals provided daily by the San Clemente Hospital Auxiliary to the 800 meals a day of the Feedback Foundation in Anaheim.

Most programs deliver two meals--a hot lunch and a cold supper--five days a week and add one or two frozen meals to the Friday delivery packet, if requested, for weekend coverage. Saddleback Hospital Meals on Wheels delivers 365 days out of the year. Several private programs offer meals for weekdays only.

"A lot of people we serve save a bit from day to day for the weekend, or neighbors and friends help out a little," said Lucille Davis, chairman of South Coast Medical Center's Meals on Wheels program.

Most agencies depend entirely on volunteer drivers and deliver a hot main meal. But Feedback uses paid drivers to cover its sprawling routes and delivers all its meals chilled and ready to be heated in an oven or microwave.

The cost of the meals varies by program, ranging from free--all of the federally funded programs provide free meals, but ask for a modest donation if possible--to Saddleback Hospital's $5.50 charge per day for two meals.

The Brea Meals on Wheels program, organized by the Active Christians Today organization of St. Angela Catholic Church in Brea, charges $2 per day for two regular meals, and $2.50 for two therapeutic meals. That's the same price charged 15 years ago.

"We purchase our meals from Brea Community Hospital and Brea Hospital Neuropsychiatric Center, and they haven't raised their prices to us in all that time," said Marie Dominico, chairman of the Brea program.

Irvine Meals on Wheels, sponsored by the National Charity League, has also kept its price at $2.50 daily for two meals. Like most of the programs in the county, Brea and Irvine Meals on Wheels subsidize those who can't afford to pay.

Because of dietary restrictions, most of the food goes out a little on the bland side, high in nutrition and low in fat, salt and spice. But the method and style of preparation and the food selection varies greatly.

South County Senor Services employs a registered dietitian and has a catering contract with Langlois Fancy Frozen Foods, a U.S. Agriculture Department-approved kitchen in Laguna Beach. Langlois prepares the program's more than 450 home-delivered meals daily and includes items such as beef ragout, sirloin tips on noodles, turkey enchilada, potatoes O'Brien and sourdough bread.

At Western Medical Center-Barlett, in Santa Ana, Maria Ibarra is employed as a full-time Meals on Wheels cook for the hospital-run program.

A typical menu contains meals not that different from what can be found at a roadside diner: meat loaf, creamed potatoes, buttered spinach, carrot-raisin salad, gingerbread, and bread and butter.

ANAHEIM

Anaheim Senior Citizens Center Meals on Wheels

Ovid Rader, (714) 778-6116.

BALBOA

F.I.S.H., Harbor Area Mobile Meals

Debby O'Conner, (714) 642-6060.

BREA

Home Delivered Meals, Feedback Foundation

Sue Mills, (714) 990-7781.

BUENA PARK

Meals on Wheels-Buena Park

Sara Wilson, (714) 952-1949.

CAPISTRANO BEACH

San Clemente Hospital Auxiliary Meals on Wheels

Francis Dowling, (714) 496-1122, Ext. 324.

CORONA DEL MAR

F.I.S.H., Harbor Area Mobile Meals

Debby O'Conner, (714) 642-6060.

COSTA MESA

F.I.S.H., Harbor Area Mobile Meals

Debby O'Conner, (714) 642-6060.

CYPRESS

Home Delivered Meals, Senior Meals and Services

Debbie Dalton, (714) 894-9779.

DANA POINT

South Coast Medical Center, Meals on Wheels

Lucille Davis, (714) 499-1311, Ext. 7236.

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Jolinda Lich, (714) 496-4252.

EL TORO

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Maria Burgos, (714) 770-4103 or 380-0155.

Saddleback Hospital Meals on Wheels

Marie Ray, (714) 496-6664.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

Home Delivered Meals, Feedback Foundation

Jeanne Ramirez, (714) 220-0224.

FULLERTON

Fullerton Meals on Wheels/Feedback Foundation

Nancy Harry, (714) 871-2200.

GARDEN GROVE

Home Delivered Meals, Senior Meals and Services

Debbie Dalton, (714) 894-9779.

HUNTINGTON BEACH

Meals to the Home/Feedback Foundation

Betsy Crimi, (714) 960-2478.

IRVINE

Irvine Meals on Wheels/National Charity League, Irvine Chapter

Martha Young, (714) 786-6870.

LAGUNA BEACH

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Paula Matus, (714) 499-1311.

South Coast Medical Center Meals on Wheels

Lucille Davis, (714) 499-1311, Ext. 7236.

LAGUNA HILLS

Saddleback Hospital Meals on Wheels

Marie Ray, (714) 496-6664.

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Maria Burgos, (714) 770-4103 or 380-0155.

LAGUNA NIGUEL

South Coast Medical Center, Meals on Wheels

Lucille Davis, (714) 499-1311, Ext. 7236.

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Rina Seely, (714) 498-0400.

LA HABRA AND LA HABRA HEIGHTS

La Habra Meals on Wheels

Fern McKenzie, (213) 905-9747.

LAKE FOREST

Home Delivered Meals, South County Senior Services

Maria Burgos, (714) 770-4103 or 380-1055.

LA PALMA

No service.

LOS ALAMITOS

Home Delivered Meals, Senior Meals and Services

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