Meals on Wheels Presents Evanston’s New Kitchen with Pie Fundraiser


Northeast Illinois Meals on Wheels are moving to their new food production facility on Simpson Street in Evanston after a cooking campaign funded a major upgrade.

“We weren’t able to meet the need for delivery until our new kitchen. We had no control, but now we can decide the menu, ”said Managing Director Debi Morganfield. “Now we are able to follow medically prescribed diets and all of our meals are fresh and prepared in our kitchen; this is delicious.”

Chefs at work in the new Meals on Wheels kitchen. (Photo provided by Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois)

Meals on Wheels serves two different hot and cold meals each day. While lots of new menu items have been added, like balsamic reduction frosting and pan-seared chicken, some things haven’t changed: Meatloaf remains a favorite.

“People love meatloaf; they want comfort food, ”Morganfield said.

Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois, formerly known as Meals at Home, made its first deliveries in October 1968. At the time, the department relied on the kitchen of St. Francis Hospital to create its meal. After years of working with hospitals and local vendors, with little control over his menus, he moved to the Simpson Street facility in October 2019, just months before the pandemic hit.

Food preparation. (Photo provided by Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois)

Morganfield said a goal of $ 500,000 had been set for the cooking campaign, but that he was able to raise nearly $ 600,000, funds that were used to modernize the facility so that it could provide more healthy and fresh meals.

“One of the big myths that we are constantly faced with is that we are only meant for low income people, that is absolutely not true,” Morganfield said. “Our food is very good quality and similar to anything people eat in restaurants. We make sure it is food that is attractive to all income levels. “

Debi Morganfield, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois

Meals on Wheels can be ordered short term or long term, with every meal suitable for diabetics and heart disease and low in sodium – and now the food can even be tailored for the holiday season.

Morganfield said it used to be difficult to guarantee menu items were vegetarian, vegan, or religious and holiday-friendly. For example, this year, for the first time, subscribers will receive rice pudding for Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, which takes place this week.

“Being part of a group and celebrating your vacation through food is special,” she said. “It’s just that sense of belonging.

A cold meal provided by Meals on Wheels. (Photo provided by Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois)

To showcase their food to the community, Meals on Wheels is hosting their first Thanksgiving Pie fundraiser.

The freshly made pies cost $ 20 and come in six flavors: apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan, cherry and the main seller, dark chocolate, and bourbon pecan.

Pies must be ordered by November 13 and will be available for pickup on November 24 at the Meals on Wheels office and kitchen at 1723 Simpson St. in Evanston, Muller Subaru in Highland Park or at Park Town Hall. City.

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