Mar 20, 2019

The Community Support Foundation of Ontario joins with other organisations around North America to help promote the Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals and a friendly face for seniors all year round in this region and across Ontario. Each year during March on Meals week (March 19-23 this year) local politicians and other community champions are invited to ride with dedicated Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering hot meals in the hamlets and the countryside.

The promotion aims to generate awareness of hot meal programs, the challenge of social isolation and its impact on health outcomes, and encourage support through volunteering and financial donations.

In our region, distance is a challenge, but Meals on Wheels volunteers are undaunted. Meals are delivered by Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS) in South Frontenac, Rural Frontenac Community Services (RFCS) in Central and parts of North Frontenac, by Land O’Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) in Addington Highlands and parts of North Frontenac, and Community Home Support – Perth Office in Tay Valley and Lanark Highlands.

Most MOW programs in Canada were started by local church groups or steering committees that saw a need to help feed elderly populations in their communities. Today, Meals on Wheels programs still operate at the local level. Programs vary widely in their size, service provided, organization and funding. In 2015-16, 2,899,292 meals were delivered to 38,800 Ontarians.

Currently in Ontario, there are 137 not-for-profit organizations receiving government funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide Meals on Wheels. This government funding covers only part of the cost the difference is made up by donations and/or client fees, which are kept as low as possible.

At the Grace Centre in Sydenham March for Meals was marked on Tuesday (March 19) A boisterous group gathered in the morning for coffee and treats before heading out. Southern Frontenac Community Services offers Hot Meals on Wheels every Tuesday. Meals are prepared by a professional cook to be nutritionally appropriate for older adults. Each meal includes soup or salad, an entrée and a side, and dessert.

A team of volunteer drivers delivers about 60 meals each week (sometimes as many as 75) throughout South Frontenac and rural Kingston. Drivers take a moment to check in with seniors, providing social interaction, and a chance to see how the client is faring.

SFCSC also offers a Frozen Meals program, where nutritionally appropriate, high quality frozen meals suitable for warming up can be ordered and delivered. Frozen meals cost $5 each, and Hot Meals on Wheels cost $7.

For more information on the Hot Meals on Wheels Program offered at SFCSC, call Joanne Silver at 613-3766477 ext. 303. For information about Meals on Wheels in Central and North Frontenac, RFCS call 613-279-3151. In Addington Highlands call LOLCS at 613-336-8934

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