1972: The Lake Oswego Meal Network was originally called the Welcome Break and started as a six-month pilot project. The church parishes of Lake Oswego initiated this program to determine if the older residents of Lake Oswego would be interested in a lunch program. Seven churches participated, each cooking and serving lunch in turn to persons who came to a small house on “A” Avenue, which was then the Adult Center and later to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church Parish Hall.
The church parishes in Lake Oswego became interested in elderly nutrition after seeing statistics showing that one-third to one-half of all illnesses in older adults resulted from malnutrition, not necessarily caused by financial need.
1975: Lake Oswego Adult Community Center was built and the Meal Program located at 5th and G when the building was constructed.
1975-2004: The all volunteer Welcome Break Board performed all the functions of the meal program management, personnel, ordering, equipment repairs/purchasing. The increasing responsibilities for the for these volunteers, and legal liability associated with operating a food services program, called for a restructuring of the program. The City of Lake Oswego took over responsibility for program management. At this time, The Welcome Break Board changed its name to the Lake Oswego Meal Network Advisory Board (LOMNAB).
2004- 2005: LOMNAB transformed itself from an operations board to an advisory board while retaining its 501(c) (3) non-profit status, entering into an agreement with the City of Lake Oswego. The goal of the Board was to defray the costs of the meal program by fundraising the deficit between the contributions of patrons and actual costs, to provide program feedback, to help promote the program, and evaluate.
2005: First Board Co-Chairs Andy Harris and Gail Keck stepped forward to provide Board leadership, helping to create bylaws, mission and structure. Their eye for program continuity served the Meal Program exceptionally well. They developed several fundraising partnerships, including Safeway Market, and sought grant opportunities from foundations such as the Wanser Foundation. The Board also worked with staff to create the Cinnamon Roll Fundraiser was created to bring back former Welcome Break cook Jo Volm’s much loved cinnamon rolls for sale at the Center and at the Lake Oswego Saturday Farmer’s Market as a fundraiser.
2009: Profits from the cinnamon roll program were declining, and the Board sought out a more sustainable funding source. After meeting with Board Co-Chairs, the New Season Mountain Park store agreed to partner with the Board to fundraise at its doors during the month of October, passing out cards to shoppers to encourage them to donate at the New Seasons register when making their purchases.
2011-2013 New Board Co-Chairs Shelle Winkler and Lynn Brokaw were elected. Under their leadership the partnership the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce flourished, and a new opportunity for fundraising in 2012, when the Board was approached to be the recipient of Lake Oswego Academy of Dance recitals. Now an annual spring event, this fundraiser nets over $6,000 in one day.
2014: Election of Co-Chairs Brenda Grubbs and Frank Bridwell. The Lake Oswego Meal Network Advisory Board, dba Lake Oswego Meals on Wheels was announced.The co-chairs have started the year off well, recruiting new Board members to meet the increasing need for meals for elderly and disabled persons in Lake Oswego.
In 2013 14,627 Meals on Wheels were delivered, and diners came to the Oak Room at the Center to enjoy 5,826 meals.