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Our Story


"It is our mission

that no one

go hungry..."

- Dolores Teuber, President

San Pedro Meals on Wheels

 

Our Purpose  Our Method  Our Testimonies  Our Chef

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Our Story


"It is our mission

that no one

go hungry..."

- Dolores Teuber, President

San Pedro Meals on Wheels

 

Our Purpose  Our Method  Our Testimonies  Our Chef


Our story

San Pedro Meals on Wheels, Inc., was founded in 1972 by Church Women United of the First Presbyterian & First Methodist Churches of San Pedro. Today, many members of the First Presbyterian Church volunteer their services.  Our office and kitchen facilities are made available on the First Pres. San Pedro Church premises.

San Pedro Meals on Wheels, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation, community based, and non sectarian. It is operated by a Board of Directors, of whom are civic-minded volunteers and business leaders in our community.  Our concept of delivering nutritious, hot meals to those in need originated in England during World War II, and has since spread to major cities throughout the United States & other countries, world wide

Since 1972, nearly 1,100,000 quality meals have been served by San Pedro Meals on Wheels.  Because this is a volunteer organization, the cost of each delivery is only $7.00 per day. This amount doesn’t cover the full cost, which is made up by contributions from individuals and organizations.


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Our Purpose


purpose (n.) pur*pose \ˈpər-pəs\

1. The reason why something is done or used; the aim or intention of something.

synonym: "drive"

Our Purpose


purpose (n.) pur*pose \ˈpər-pəs\

1. The reason why something is done or used; the aim or intention of something.

synonym: "drive"

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to supply nourishing meals at a minimum cost to people who are unable to cook, drive, shop, leave their home for temporary or longer periods of time.

Although many patrons are retired, Meals on Wheels is a service for anyone who is unable to prepare a nutritious meal. This could include long-term disability or chronic illness, or it may be someone recovering from hospitalization, who is house-bound for a period of time. If you can’t get to the grocery store, or if you can’t cook your dinner, then San Pedro Meals on Wheels is for you.


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Our Method


Our Method


Our Method

We deliver a sack lunch and a hot meal, mid day, five days a week, except on major holidays.  If a major holiday falls during the week, usually we can bring an extra meal to cover that day.  The service area includes all of the San Pedro community and nearby Rancho Palos Verdes.

We are funded by donations & grants, and the current cost to those to whom we deliver is only a few dollars per day.  

Food is purchased from wholesale suppliers and local markets, bringing you fresh vegetables, fresh fish and USDA certified meat & poultry.  Food from non-commercial sources cannot be used because of Los Angeles County Department of Health regulations.  We have regular kitchen inspections, and you may be assured that we always provide high quality & healthy food.  The kitchen and preparation are continually rated “A”  (the highest any food service organization may receive).  

Meals are packaged immediately after being cooked and are delivered promptly to homes by volunteers using their own cars.  Each delivery includes a delicious & nutritious, piping hot dinner for midday, as well as, a light snack for later.

Our paid staff includes an Office Assistant and a Chef.  All others are volunteers, including our Board of Directors.


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Testimonials


"My doctor says,

'You stay on that

Meals on Wheels.'  

It's changed my life.  

It really has..."

- Mary Dennis, client

Testimonials


"My doctor says,

'You stay on that

Meals on Wheels.'  

It's changed my life.  

It really has..."

- Mary Dennis, client

Perhaps, nothing inspires us to keep doing what we do like the words of appreciation we receive from our clients & volunteers.

Here are a few bites from our patrons & workers


 

"I’m the cook in the family, or at least I was the cook in the family.  I can’t stand now, so I can’t do any cooking.  Meals on Wheels have very nice people.  They take my mail to the mailbox for me.  So they’re very nice people, even beyond bringing me my food.  I haven’t met anybody from San Pedro Meals on Wheels that wasn’t very pleasant."

-Mercedes Llatta (Client)

 

"I’ve been a volunteer for almost a year.  I lost my husband a little over a year ago, and I just needed to have something rewarding to do, to get up out of the house and be productive again.  I’m doing for those that can’t do it for themselves.  That is very rewarding."

-Karen Miller (Volunteer)


"I served a three-year term on the Board of Directors for San Pedro Meals on Wheels.  I’ve served as a delivery person, and as a driver.  I’ve helped out in the office, and helped Chef Mike in the kitchen.   In the beginning, I didn’t know a thing about it except that it operated out of the church’s upstairs kitchen.  Dolores Teuber thought it would be a good thing for me to get involved, and pitched it pretty well. Everybody who was doing it was crazy about what they did.  The best part about volunteering was being the delivery person.  Sometimes they didn’t see anybody all day long, but you.  They didn’t even care if you gave them the lunch; they were just so glad to see a smiling face.  I hope that if someone in my family needed this service, it would be available.  At the end of my two years I felt like I knew what we were all about, and I wouldn’t take anything from the experience."

-Sandy Clayson (Former President, San Pedro Meals on Wheels)

 

"I love [San Pedro] Meals on Wheels.  My son says, ‘You still take Meals on Wheels?’  I says, ‘I love it.’  I don’t know what I’d do without it… because my driver’s license is gone, and the only way that I get meals is to have them deliver it to me.  I appreciate it.  I’d say I’ve had them for almost 20 years.  It doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you’re 95 like I am… time means something.  They’ve been really good to me.  They really have."

-Art Halber (Client)


"I come in once a week to help Chef Mike in the kitchen.  I like to give back.  I can’t think of anything more basic in terms of giving back than to make sure people get decent hot meals during the day; people who would otherwise go hungry or be eating snack foods because they couldn’t cook for themselves or get out.  The idea of fixing something nutritious for them and deliver it to their door and see them through the week?  I think that’s great."

-Vicky Kamalbakal (Volunteer)


 

"We want to be involved in the community.  We’re retired, and it’s good to volunteer to get out of the house.   We meet some great people on our route.  They’re always thankful.  It makes us feel good, and it fulfills our need to give back.   There are folks who can’t cook for themselves.  This is a really good service.  It doesn’t take that much time to do it, and you’re helping people out."

-Rick & Pat Hildebrandt (Volunteers)


"Since I started using San Pedro Meals on Wheels I’ve gained weight…  But I needed to since I left the hospital.  My daughter got me onto this because she knows I don’t cook.  When you get older you don’t fix a lot of food.  You really don’t.  My kids come out to help me, but they can’t stay forever; they work.  I really count on [San Pedro Meals on Wheels].  I mean, it’s changed my life… Because I never fixed dinner before, but now I eat.  They really know what they’re doing.  It’s a God-send, and the people are so nice.  I’ve been recommending Meals on Wheels because word-of-mouth is the best.  My friend - from across the alley - he and I were good friends, and he had San Pedro Meals on Wheels all the time.  He recommended them to me, and they’ve saved my life." 

-Mary Dennis (Client)


"I’ve been in construction all my life.  Now being retired, I decided I’m too active to be sitting at home.  I volunteer three days a week.  It takes approximately an hour and a half to two hours a day.  I could do it all day; its rewarding…  I’m just very happy that God has blessed me with the health, and I can do this…"

-Bill Miller (Volunteer)


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Chef Mike


"This gives me the

opportunity to come

in and do what I love...

and do it for people I

love to do it for."

- Michael Caccavalla, Executive Chef 

San Pedro Meals on Wheels

Chef Mike


"This gives me the

opportunity to come

in and do what I love...

and do it for people I

love to do it for."

- Michael Caccavalla, Executive Chef 

San Pedro Meals on Wheels


Spotlight:  The Chef

We took the time to sit down for a quick Q&A with San Pedro Meals on Wheels Executive Chef, Mike Caccavalla, to see if we could get him to share a little about what makes his wheels turn.

Question:

Where did you come from?

Chef Mike:  

I was born and raised in Brooklyn and relocated to San Pedro in my 20’s.  

Question: 

Have you always been a Chef?

Chef Mike:  

I’ve had multiple careers.  I've been a radio DJ; a restaurant owner; and I've been in the food procurement arena too, with international and local companies such as Carl Kartcher; Downtown Subs & More; and Giuliano's Deli and Bakery.  I currently own a promotional clothing line, but I still get to fulfill my passion for cooking on a daily basis.

Question: 

You're not only involved with San Pedro Meals on Wheels, correct?

Chef Mike:  

Yeah, my experience with cooking and community involvement is extensive.  I’ve catered over 400 weddings; private events; political events, and I consult internationally too.  There’s Shakespeare By the Sea; Music By the Sea; the Lobster Fest; Cars and Stripes; the Muller House; Ft. Mac and Harbor Interfaith Fund Raisers;  Pt. Fermin; Wigwam Hall; the Warner Grand; the Korean [Friendship] Bell; the Bath House and Polar Bear Events; Downtown San Pedro First Thursdays; various movie and TV Filmmaking events; the Community Redevelopment Agency; the Port of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles and Port Police Departments, and the Juvenile Intervention Program.

Question: 

Tell us a little about your experience being "The Chef" for San Pedro Meals on Wheels.

Chef Mike:  

I’ve been the Chef for five years, but people have known me at the First Presbyterian Church and throughout the San Pedro community for decades.  The ad in the paper for 'a cook' caught my eye.  By the end of the second day I was cooking, organizing, improving procedure and helping to run the office.  I’ve assisted in moving SPMOW from frozen food to fresh, and helped with increasing the number of clients and volunteers.  I have helped reduce expenses and serve meals based on a well thought out plan.

Question: 

Anything else you want to share about your time with San Pedro Meals on Wheels?

Chef Mike:  

I came to do a job and to try to do my best at it every day.  I run into challenges often, but the bottom line is to prepare the most nutritious, cost effective meals that taste good.