Meals on Wheels kitchens rely on the good work of many dedicated volunteers and staff to provide a vital service to the community. However, a great deal of information needs to be kept in order to provide the service in a reliable and efficient manner. Because of the number of different people involved, it can be difficult to maintain good records.
How MealsOnDisk helps
The MealsOnDisk software has been designed to solve this problem by simplifying the administration of meal preparation and distribution. Many kitchens use cards, lists and whiteboards to keep customer and delivery run information. Others use spreadsheets to track some of the information. MealsOnDisk allows you to keep all details about your customers and their meal deliveries in a single database. The information stored currently includes:
- Customer details
- Meal preferences
- Delivery run details including instructions to delivery volunteers
- Customer history including details of all deliveries, charges and payments
- Volunteer details and rosters
When customers are added to MealsOnDisk you tell the system which days they receive meals and what types of meals they want. The system uses this information to determine the meals that need to be prepared and which customers they need to be delivered to.
If a customer doesn’t want meals for a period of time, because they are away or in hospital, you can record these details. You can even change the type of meals they want to receive for a particular period, for example if they have special dietary requirements due to an illness or an operation. In all these cases, MealsOnDisk will use the information you have entered to reliably determine the meals that need to be prepared and delivered on any particular day. All reports and lists produced by MealsOnDisk will use this information.
MealsOnDisk doesn’t try to be a computer accounting package. There are a number of well known packages available for a reasonable cost. However, it will track all charges, payments and adjustments for each customer allowing you to transfer summary information to the accounts. MealsOnDisk will also show outstanding balances on the delivery run sheets to assist volunteers in collecting payment from customer who pay in cash. Clients can be charged in arrears, or in advance. Invoice statements can also be produced for those clients not paying in cash.
MealsOnDisk provides a variety of reports such as details for kitchen staff of all meals to be prepared, labels for meal containers to assist in delivery, delivery instructions for each run, as well as financial summary reports and reports to assist with MDS reporting and HACC subsidy claims. Examples of sample reports are available to be viewed.
Ease of Use
MealsOnDisk has been designed to be simple to use, as staff and volunteers may not necessarily have a high level of computer experience. The software runs under Microsoft Windows so makes use of all the common usability features available to Windows applications. Installation is also straight forward as it installs and updates automatically over the internet.
MealsOnDisk has been successfully used by meal services throughout Australia since 2004. An evaluation copy of MealsOnDisk can be requested so that you can try it yourself.