Meals on Wheels, an Interior Health program that has been operating in the community for decades, has undergone some changes.
“They’ve gone to a totally different system where they don’t need drivers anymore,” said Linda Ferro, co-ordinator for Golden Meals on Wheels, and a longtime volunteer.
In the past, the hospital has prepared a hot meal, and volunteer drivers would pick them up and bring them to residents around Golden, three times a week. As of Feb. 20, the program has switched to frozen meals that must be picked up at the hospital by the families.
Ferro, having been a volunteer for 22 years, is not saying whether this change is good or bad, but wants to make sure the public knows about it.
“If there’s people out there that need meals, there’s still a way to get them,” she said.
The decision was made and communicated to Ferro by Interior Health a few months ago. Interior Health likes to keep all their hospitals uniform, including programs like Meals on Wheels.
Although she is very glad that the customers will still be receiving a nutritious meal, she is concerned that a social element is being lost.
“A big part of Meals on Wheels was not just delivering a hot meal for them to enjoy, but it was a connection to the outside world, if only for a few brief minutes,” she said.
“A lot of these people are stuck at home day in and day out. They don’t see many people.”
The local program has had a lot of very dedicated volunteer drivers over the years, and Ferro says they are all going to miss it.
“We’d like to thank all of the Meals on Wheels volunteers for their many years of dedicated service,” she said. “Our drivers have been very reliable. They enjoy and look forward to doing it, that’s why they do it. They are going to miss it.”
Anyone interested in receiving meals can get more information at the Golden and District Hospital.