Community Support Services of Niagara is participating in the 21st annual March for Meals – a month-long celebration of Meals on Wheels and the thousands of people across the province who rely on this critical service.
It comes at a time when seniors in the region are facing challenges when it comes to nutritious, affordable meals.
“Due to the pressure of increasing food costs and overall higher cost of living, we have experienced an increase in the demand for our services in Welland/Pelham area as well as the Lincoln/West Lincoln/Grimsby area,” Carolyn Askeland, executive director of CSSN said in a news release.
“Many of our volunteers were seniors themselves, and unable to participate in the same way during the pandemic. With the dramatic jump in demand for our services, volunteers are needed now more than ever. Together, we have shown that we can make a difference and we thank everyone who is willing to commit their time and effort to MOW programs here and across the province.”
This month, Meals on Wheels Ontario acknowledges the tireless efforts of the many volunteers who support CSSN and other MOW programs, preparing, packaging, and delivering meals, and helping to address hunger and social isolation.
Ontario's most vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities are currently facing extraordinary levels of food insecurity.
With demand for nutritious and affordable meals growing each day, Meals on Wheels continues to rise to meet the need.
"I look forward to continuing to see the great work of Meals on Wheels in the Pelham community," Mayor Marvin Junkin told PelhamToday. "Thank you to the program support team from Meals on Wheels – Welland office for joining us here today and providing their flag to be showcased and continue to bring awareness to their great program that works to ensure no senior or person with disabilities goes without nutritional food in our community."
Since April 2022, CSSN has provided 15,597 hot and frozen meals in the Lincoln/West Lincoln/Grimsby community and approximately 21,224 hot and frozen meals in the Welland/Pelham community.
Volunteers have donated 5,816 hours in those communities ensuring seniors receive a nutritious meal.
Volunteers also perform wellness checks ensuring each client is safe and doing well, easing the worry of family members.
During the month of March, community-based Meals on Wheels programs across the province will participate in activities and awareness campaigns to promote the impact of these programs and highlight the importance of vulnerable seniors having access to a nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check.
“During the week of March 20, CSSN will be raising awareness about Meals on Wheels, the impact of the program and our amazing volunteers with five flag raising ceremonies over three days,” said Christine Bissonnette, community engagement specialist of CSSN.
“Mayors from Welland, Pelham, Lincoln, West Lincoln and Grimsby will be assisting our volunteers with the delivery of hot meals, as well as hosting flag-raisings in each of their communities. This is known as Mayors for Meals Week. And to honour our volunteers, this week is also known as Community Champions Week. We simply could not run this incredibly important program without our champion volunteers, we are truly grateful.”
For more information on how you can volunteer, visit happyinmyhome.ca.
If volunteering is not currently an option for you, you can make a consider a donation to CSSN Meals on Wheels Program so it can continue to provide low cost, nutritionally balanced hot meals to our vulnerable population allowing our seniors to stay safe, independent and happy in their home.
Community Support Services of Niagara is a not-for-profit volunteered based agency providing non-medical support services to seniors and adults with disabilities, so they can remain independent in the comfort of their own homes.
Its services include Meals on Wheels, transportation to and from appointments, grocery shopping with delivery, safety and wellness checks, friendly visiting to combat loneliness, snow removal, home maintenance and a Safety at Home Program.