The demand for Meals on Wheels in Williams Lake has increased.
In June volunteers served 250 more trays than they did during the same time period in 2013, said Sharon Taphorn, who became the program’s co-ordinator on June 20, replacing Alice Groenenberg.
The program offers affordable meals three days a week to seniors, disabled persons who live independently or who people newly out of the hospital who may need assistance for a temporary period.
As an example, Taphorn described a couple who called and said they were ready to cook their own meals again because they were getting better.
All of the food is prepared by kitchen staff at Cariboo Memorial Hospital and delivered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
To start the program, the co-ordinator does a short personal interview with the client at home to assess their need.
At $4.75 for a food tray, the cost of the meals is kept as low as possible.
Clients receive soup, salad, buns and a main meal.
Since its inception in Williams Lake in 1989, Meals on Wheels has been funded by Interior Health and local service clubs.
“Without the money from local groups, we couldn’t provide the meals at that price,” Taphorn said.
And some times the program receives donations in memory of a loved one, she added.
The program relies on volunteer drivers who donate an hour and a half one day a week, three days a week, or even once a month.
Drivers are assigned a route and can work in pairs if they want
They do need more drivers if anyone is able to offer help, Taphorn confirmed.
Previously Taphorn was a nurse and a care-aide but due to injuries cannot do that work anymore.
So far she is loving her new job because if she can make people’s lives happier that’ all that matters.
“I was looking for something I could do to make a difference,” she said. “Sometimes our volunteers are the only person the client sees in a day.”