A fixture of Meals on Wheels West for the past 27 years, President/CEO RoseMary Regalbuto has announced she will retire from the position next month on Dec. 2.
Regalbuto began her career as a part time employee of the local home food delivery program founded by the Westside Ecumenical Conference and run out of the kitchen at both St. John’s Hospital and Santa Monica Hospital.
Over the years, her role evolved, as did the name and the role of Meals On Wheels West.
Regalbuto recalls there were originally 54 clients. In 2012, the agency served nearly 80,000 meals.
Meals On Wheels’ (MOW) programs are heavily dependent upon the support of volunteers. Last year in Santa Monica almost 500 volunteers were registered with MOWW as active regular participants.
Regalbuto has steered and guided the grassroots non-profit for 27 years and leaves the organization a strong community safety net which responds to the hunger and isolation of homebound seniors and those with disabilities.
The need for home delivered meals has grown over the years and Regalbuto has flowed with the times.
The overall population has aged and seniors are struggling more than ever to survive on fixed/low income levels.
Regalbuto will tell you this is nothing new.
She has led the organization through the roller coaster of economic conditions without ever setting up a waiting list for services.
Regalbuto, who is active in the Santa Monica Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce, is known throughout Santa Monica for her dedication and tenacity in raising awareness and funding for the agency. She is the ever-present face of Meals On Wheels West.
Regalbuto will be honored at a cocktail party, Dec. 2, 2013 to be held at La Sandia restaurant at Santa Monica Place from 5:30-7:30 pm. Donations to MOWW are requested in lieu of gifts and all are welcome to attend the reception.