Sudbury Meals on Wheels growing to meet demand
SUDBURY -- Meals on Wheels in Sudbury recently received some provincial funding through the Trillium Foundation. It's money to support the non-profit recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.
The pandemic has had many impacts on Meals on Wheels in Sudbury.
An increase in demand for meals, increasing volunteer and supplier shortages and limits on ordering frozen meals.
"With COVID-19, our frozen food supplier is out of Southern Ontario and that supplier, unfortunately, the inventory control has changed as a result of the pandemic and supply," said Shannon Ketchabaw, the executive director of Meals on Wheels Sudbury.
Meals on Wheels Sudbury recently received $150,000 in funding through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to do renovations and make frozen meals on-site in Sudbury.
"Be able to eventually expand within the whole northern region, so we will be able to offer this service to other agencies within the community, as well as in other northern communities. So I think this is wonderful news for us and exciting times," Ketchabaw said.
During the pandemic, the organization has seen demand for services more than double.
"My first experience with Meals on Wheels as being MPP was in 2019 and I came as a volunteer. And I think when you see first-hand how important it is for people, not to just get the nutritious meals that they have serviced but also it's the contact people have," said Jamie West, Sudbury NDP MPP.
Fundraising efforts were also hit hard because of the pandemic. The new venture to make frozen meals is expected to bring in almost $100,000 annually for the non-profit group.
"This will allow us to be more sustainable. Making these meals will allow us to have control over our inventory, will allow us to bring in our own revenue," Ketchabaw said.
Meals on Wheels Sudbury plans to add a new flash freezer and renovate the kitchen to accommodate making frozen meals. The program is expected to be up and running by December.