Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County Kicks Off 45 Years of Service and Delivers its 6.8 millionth meal

Picture: Bernadine Janny of Allentown receiving the 6.8th millionth meal delivered by Dave Bausch, one of Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County’s founders and first board members, and Pam Bechtel, Executive Director

February 1, 2016 (Allentown, PA).  Today Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County kicked off its 45th year of serving Lehigh County homebound at a small celebration at its meal pick-up site. In addition, Dave Bausch, one of the Agency’s founders and first board members, delivered the Agency’s 6.8 millionth meal to Bernadine Janny of Allentown.

On February 1, 1971 Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County began serving the homebound by delivering two meals to nine clients on 3 routes.  Today, the Agency serves 450 clients on 33 routes every weekday. 

According to Executive Director Pamela S. Bechtel:  “For 45 years we have provided home delivered meals and friendly visits to our homebound neighbors to help them remain living in their own homes. This would not be possible without the support of our dedicated volunteers and generous donors.  The dedication of our volunteers is amazing.  This is evidenced by the fact that one of our volunteers, Eleanor Matyus, who started delivering meals on February 1, 1971, is delivering meals on her regular route today.”

Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller presented the Agency with a county proclamation of congratulations.  He said:  “When I delivered meals for the first time four years ago, I saw firsthand the positive impact that program has on the lives of our citizens.  I commend Meals on Wheels on its 45th anniversary.”

Ellen Kern, Chief of Staff, Senator Pat Browne and Brittney Waylen, Legislative Aide, Office of Represenative Ryan Makensie,  presented citations from the Pennsylvania legislature honoring Meals on Wheels for its contributions to enhancing the quality of life for the people the agency serves. 

Dave Bausch and Pam Bechtel delivered the 6.8 millionth meal to Bernadine Janny of Allentown.  Bernadine said: “I love my meals and eat every one of them.  I am so happy to have this program. It is so nice to see someone every day and also to get special presents.  I love the quilt that Meals on Wheels sent me at Christmas. I feel special.”

Each weekday, Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, a nonprofit agency, serves 450 homebound seniors and adults with disabilities living throughout Lehigh County.912 individual and group volunteers deliver about 168,000 meals each year; almost seven million since 1971.  Volunteers also provide a social connection and a well-being check.  The Agency also offers grocery shopping services to more than 100 clients. For more information, visit


Information Provided By:
Michele Grasso, MPA
Development Director
Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County