Meals On Wheels adapts to help seniors during pandemic
Meals On Wheels in Sudbury is now offering grocery delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Alana Pickrell/CTV Northern Ontario)
SUDBURY -- Seniors in Sudbury have another option when it comes to getting essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a well-known organization in the city.
Meals On Wheels now offers grocery pickup and delivery for seniors, immunocompromised and those who have difficulties getting to the store.
"Instead of delivering hot meals, they will be making sure they have groceries that they can't get to themselves," said executive director Shannon Ketchabaw.
"They have food to eat and don't have to leave their house to do that. And that feels good, to be able to participate in this kind of program during the pandemic."
Ketchabaw said the program is funded by the provincial government and the Ontario Community Support Association.
So far, the organization has paired up with Foodland in Garson and Capreol, and Valu Mart in Dowling. Ketchabaw said they are working on more partnerships, including a grocery store closer to the old city of Sudbury.
The contactless service is available to all residents in the city, with a special focus on those age 70 or older, immunocompromised or those with a disability or difficulty getting to the store.
Ketchabaw said there was a need in the community and funding was available, so Meals On Wheels jumped at the opportunity.
"We knew that seniors wanted to stay home," she said. "They're feeling safer at home and to give them that added sense of security, to say 'hey we can do this, contactless. We can ensure you get your groceries.'"
The organization launched the initiative on Wednesday with hopes of having the program up and running by Monday.
"I'm anticipating that it will be pretty busy," Ketchabaw said.
"I know there has been questions around this … We've had clients calling once that announcement was made a few weeks ago asking if we were doing it yet, but it took a little bit of time to get it organized and ensure we had volunteers in place to be able to do deliveries."
Meals On Wheels is taking orders over the phone during the week from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.