Companionship and Care

Companionship and Care: How Meals on Wheels Supports Seniors and Their Pets

Joyce Foucht

Joyce Foucht settled onto her cozy sofa in her immaculate Delhi Township living room and watched her cat Callie perched on the windowsill. Callie’s eyes tracked the traffic flowing by outside, hoping to spot the family of ducks from the local park making their daily journey across the busy road.

For Joyce, these moments were comforting reminders of the companionship Callie brought into her life since her husband, Gene, passed away last December. 
Joyce glanced at her phone. It was Monday, and the Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY (Meals on Wheels) app informed her that her weekly meal delivery would arrive within the hour. Perhaps Callie sensed it too, gazing expectantly out the window. Along with the week’s worth of meals, bread, milk, and snacks Joyce would receive, Callie would also get a bag of high-quality cat food, thanks to Meals on Wheels' Pet Support Program.

James Kelly


Nearby in Sayler Park, 82-year-old James Kelly, a former electrician and Red Cross volunteer, was also eagerly awaiting his Meals on Wheels delivery. His dog, Berty, short for Liberty, sat by his side. By the look of Berty and her round belly, it seemed she shared James’s fondness for the impending delivery. Berty, also enrolled in the Pet Support Program, had a bag of delicious dog food with her name on it just a few stops away.

Feeding and caring for their pets can strain seniors’ limited resources. In response, Meals on Wheels distributed 28,000 pounds of dog and cat food in 2023 and served 250 pets. The Pet Support Program also provides financial support for veterinary bills.

The peace of mind seniors like Joyce and James enjoy at night, knowing their needs and their pets' needs are supported by Meals on Wheels, allows them to rest easier and face each day with less worry. This mutual support system enhances their quality of life, proving that when both seniors and their pets are cared for, everyone wins.