5 min read
06 October 2021

Meals on Wheels delivers healthy meals (and more!) to clients

This week, October 4-8, is Meals on Wheels Week as part of Community Support Month in Ontario. Meals on Wheels is one of the many community health programs that we offer clients.

If you haven’t heard of Meals on Wheels before, how it works is that volunteers deliver hot and frozen meals to seniors and adults living with a disability. Volunteers also provide security and wellness checks and help individuals access other community-based services.

WoodGreen Meals on Wheels volunteers

WoodGreen Meals on Wheels volunteers. Photo Credit: WoodGreen Community Services

This program is vital for so many people, as was seen during the first wave of COVID-19. Meals on Wheels delivered up to 200 times the amount of meals in the same time period. The program offered more than a hot meal. It was also a connection. Often our team was the only interaction an isolated individual would have all day.

Meals on Wheels makes a difference in the lives of our clients and our volunteers. But you don’t have to take our word for it! Here is what a few of them have to say.

MEALS ON WHEELS GIVES A VOLUNTEER A CHANCE TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS

Jake Friesen first joined Meals on Wheels as a volunteer more than five years ago. He volunteers as a “runner” — someone who brings the meals right to clients’ front doors. As a retiree, volunteering has given Jake some structure in his life and the chance to interact with other people.

Meals on Wheels volunteer delivers meals to a client

Jake Friesen (right) delivers meals to a Meals on Wheels client. Jake has been a volunteer with the program for more than five years. Photo credit: WoodGreen Community Services

“I meet really nice people — other volunteers and clients. Some clients I really look forward to seeing every time I go there,” he says.

Meals on Wheels has given Jake the opportunity to feel useful and he sees the value of the program.

“It’s one way we can help [clients] to stay at home, where they have lived a long time, and where they are at home and are comfortable,” says Jake.

MEALS ON WHEELS CLIENTS SAY THE PROGRAM KEEPS THEM HEALTHY

Two of those clients are Steve McCormick and Erna Howell.

Steve became a Meals on Wheels client two years ago due to challenges going shopping. Now, the program has become a staple of his diet. The 67-year-old gets food delivered once a week. Some of his favourites include spaghetti bolognese, beef and mushroom gravy, and the meatloaf.

If Steve didn’t have this service, he would have to rely on more expensive convenience foods. “I don’t think [those foods] would be as nutritionally sound,” he said.

Meanwhile, 66-year-old Erna joined the program earlier this year, after returning home from the hospital.

“It’s given me a chance to heal. I couldn’t even stand long enough to cook a meal,” she says. “If I hadn’t decided to order Meals on Wheels, that would mean I would be eating less. I wouldn’t be able to get to the grocery store to shop.”

To date, Erna has tried almost everything on the menu. She really likes the desserts, especially the lemon tarts, which she gets once in a while as a treat. And she appreciates the volunteers for everything they do.

“They are very courteous and punctual. It’s wonderful to have something that is so reliable,” she says.

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