Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Meals on Wheels program in Lloydminster is looking for a few helping hands.
Meals on Wheels is a volunteer service that provides residents in home care with daily hot meals prepared by the Dr. Cooke Extended Care Centre cooking staff. The program is structured with different routes across the city with each route covering 8 to 12 residents. There are four delivery routes on Mondays and three on Tuesdays through Fridays.
Jennifer Gordon, the Coordinator of Volunteer Services in Lloydminster, says they are expecting an increase in demand for the service similar to the demand they had during the initial stages of the pandemic.
“They’re needing these meals now more than ever because of the pandemic we’re in. Our seniors are at a higher risk level and it’s not as easy for them to get out to the grocery store.”
Gordon says several of their past volunteer drivers were seniors, but the current COVID-19 directions discourages anyone over the age of 65 from delivering the meals as a safety precaution. She says they did have pandemic volunteers help out over the past few months and are looking to grow their volunteer base in case of interruptions caused by the virus.
“Now because of the numbers increasing in our community and across Saskatchewan, we have people who have come into close contact or have kids doing online classes and will have to cancel. ”
She mentions safety precautions are in place for volunteers including masks, a self-assessment tool, temperature checks and enhanced cleaning procedures.
“We have different commitment levels for the volunteers. You could do a regular shift once a week or once a month. We are always needing groups and volunteers on our sub-list so that if we do have a cancellation of a regular volunteer we then have someone we can call who will step in and help out when needed.”
Residents, corporate groups or businesses interested in volunteering can contact Gordon at 306-830-9043 or by email. She thanks everyone who stepped up to fill the roles during the pandemic as well as the volunteers who helped deliver meals before, but were unable to volunteer during the pandemic due to the restrictions.