meals on wheels community fundCommunity volunteer Frank Kruiderink (right) presented a cheque to presenting a cheque to Rachael Fritsch (left) and Cindy Zettler from the Meals on Wheels team at Home and Community Support Services of Grey-Bruce, to launch the Saugeen Shores Rotary Meals on Wheels Fund.

Earlier this year the Southampton Rotary Club identified that there are people within the Saugeen Shores area who at times cannot afford to receive meals through the Home and Community Support Services of Grey Bruce’s Meals on Wheels program.

“We know that sometimes unexpected expenses or challenges arise for people. During these times, people may decide to stop receiving meals, or reduce the number of meals that they receive while they deal with these unexpected costs,” said Rotarian John VanBastelaar. “For example the need for a new furnace or an unexpected dental surgery may lead to someone deciding to discontinue the Meals on Wheels. We believe so strongly in the value of Meals on Wheels, that the Rotary Club decided to create a community fund to help people for a short time so that they can continue to receive nutritious meals.”

In a Home and Community Support Services media release, the Rotary Clubs of Saugeen Shores have been supporters of the Meals on Wheels programs for years as delivery volunteers but have now increased their level of support to create the Saugeen Shores Rotary Meals on Wheels Community Fund for local residents at times when acquiring Meals on Wheels becomes too expensive. The fund is accessible to current Meals on Wheels recipients with new recipients also encouraged to call. The fund would assist with providing three meals a week for a maximum of three months at a reduced cost.

“We will monitor the fund, and there is great potential for additional support from both the Southampton and Port Elgin Rotary Clubs, as well as other interested donors,” added John VanBastelaar. Several Meals on Wheels volunteers have already stepped forward to donate to the Saugeen Shores Rotary Meals on Wheels Community Fund.

Cindy Zettler, Team Leader for the Meals on Wheels team noted, “We are always humbled to see what volunteers and donors do in the community to support others. This new Community Fund is a great example of how people care for and support their neighbours in Saugeen Shores.”

In Saugeen Shores Meals on Wheels have been supplied by Harrigan’s Food Market from Southampton for several years. Meals are delivered in Port Elgin and Southampton at noon, five days a week, Monday to Friday. Volunteers from the community deliver approximately 160 meals per month.

Some people use Meals on Wheels for a short time as they recover from surgery or illness, others start receiving meals and realize that they are eating a more balanced diet, and choose to continue with the program. The regular cost of the meals is $8.50, and includes a soup, hot entree and dessert. Recipients can choose the number of meals they wish to receive each week.

“We know that the Meals on Wheels programs provide many benefits,” said Andy Underwood, Executive Director of Home and Community Support Services of Grey-Bruce. Access to well-balanced, affordable meals offers emotional, psychological and physical benefits. Healthy eating provides essential energy and nutrients, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases at older ages. Sometimes, a friendly Meals on Wheels volunteer may be the only person a client interacts with in a given day. Home and Community Support Services of Grey-Bruce coordinates 16 Meals on Wheels programs as well as a frozen meal program that can be accessed anywhere in Grey and Bruce counties.

For more information about Meals on Wheels or the Saugeen Shores Rotary Meals on Wheels Community Fund, contact Home and Community Support Services of Grey Bruce at 519-372-2091, press 3, or go to Housekeeping services, moving and transportation services, adult day programs and friendly visiting are also available in Saugeen Shores.