October is Community Support Month and it is celebrated by support agencies across Ontario. They use this as an opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness of the value of the supports that they provide throughout the province.
October 5th to October 9th within the month is dedicated to Meals on Wheels.
Each year, Community Care Peterborough (CCP)’s dedicated volunteers deliver over 37,000 hot and frozen meals throughout the City and County of Peterborough.
This year they are especially proud to celebrate a Peterborough, Meals on Wheels volunteer, Marilyn McKenzie, for 50 years of volunteer service.
“Can you imagine how many meals Marilyn has delivered to clients over the last 50 years?” asked Alicia Vandine – Donor Relations and Communications Lead for CCP. “How many conversations she has had, and how many smiles she has given that have brightened someone’s day?”
Meals on Wheels is not only designed to ensure that vulnerable seniors and adults with disabilities receive a nutritious meal but also ensure that these individuals are checked on regularly. This vital safety net allows people to remain healthier and independent in their own homes. This has never been as important as it has been this year.
(Pictured: Denise Gould – Program Coordinator and Marilyn McKenzie.)
“It does not feel like I have been delivering meals for that many years,” said Marilyn. “I continue to volunteer because everybody has to eat. Some people just can’t get out, so I’m happy to help.”
Over the years Marilyn has met so many new people and she enjoys getting to know everyone she is delivering to and that’s her favourite part of the role.
“A lot has changed over the years, but everyone I deliver to is always so appreciative and happy, so I look forward to delivering meals to them,” added Marilyn.
“This year, the COVID pandemic could have further isolated those who were already struggling with food security issues,” added Vandine. “We are proud to say that we did not miss a day of service to clients and both our hot and frozen Meals on Wheels programs continued, thanks to the dedication of our staff and many volunteers like Marilyn so that these most vulnerable within the City and County of Peterborough were not alone and continued to receive nutritious meal support from us during the height of the pandemic.”
Highlighting the Meals on Wheels program during Community Support Month draws attention to the needs of individuals in our local communities.
“The Meals on Wheels Week within Community Support Month is an opportunity for those who may not know about this program to become aware of the resources that are available to them,” said Vandine. “It is also an opportunity to thank the individuals who have stepped forward to volunteer their time and those who financially support our Meals on Wheels - Give A Meal subsidy program, which provides meals at no charge to seniors who are struggling financially.”
For more information, to volunteer or to donate to the Meals on Wheels program in the City and County of Peterborough visit Community Care Peterborough’s website - www.commcareptbo.org.