This new year has brought lots of activity and some new projects for us at MOWGLV. We are now part of the Commonwealth’s Managed Care initiative—Community Health Choices. This is causing some stress as staff adjust to referral and billing procedures for three different managed care organizations.

We are involved in two pilot projects with Lehigh Valley Hospital. One involves a partnership with LVHN’s Street Medicine program. After a homeless person (“street neighbor”) has been discharged from the hospital, the Street Medicine team finds temporary housing for the patient so that they can recover in a stable environment where other supportive services can be provided. One of the services is the provision of nutritious meals, and that’s where we come in. The Street Medicine team contacts us when they have a patient who needs food and we add them to our delivery route. The idea is to support these patients in their recovery and avoid further health complications, or hospital readmissions.

Another similar project, also with Lehigh Valley Health Network, involves us providing 90 days of meals to patients discharged with a chronic heart disease diagnosis. The care managers know that some patients struggle with the proper diet needed to manage this serious medical condition. The hope is that the patients will learn and adjust to a healthier diet by eating meals provided by MOWGLV.

St. Luke’s University Health Network is also exploring projects which will incorporate our medically tailored meals into patient care and support. We are happy to partner with both health care networks in using “food as medicine” to support our clients well-being.

Although there hasn’t been much to report with regard to our building project at Sherman St, there has been a lot of activity. We have had several meetings with our architect (Alloy5) and kitchen design (Clark Food Service Equipment) to nail down the design for the new space. We are pleased with how the plans are shaping up. The complete architectural drawings should be complete within the next two weeks. After that, the project manager will complete subcontractor bidding by the end of March. All of the mechanical/electrical/plumbing drawings should be finished by the end of March so that the team can get the necessary permits from the City of Allentown. If this schedule holds, we will be ready to begin construction by May 1st. I’m not about to speculate a finish date yet!

We will be moving forward in earnest with our capital campaign now. We will be reaching out to friends, new and existing, and asking for support of this endeavor which will give MOWGLV a solid foundation from which to serve our clients in the future.

I encourage you to reach out to me directly at any time with questions about what our activities, or if you have ideas to share that will help us advance our work.

Thank you for all you do to support us.

— Vicki Coyle, CEO