Nampa/ Northern Sunrise County Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is happy to reintroduce a once-a-month Wheels to Meals for people to enjoy with their neighbours.

The program was created to help people 55 years or older or those who have limitations, maintain a healthy diet even when they cannot cook on their own, or struggle to cook a balanced diet for just one person.

The low-cost program had to eliminate its in-person meals when Covid struck, but FCSS director of Community Services Amber Houle says they are happy to reintroduce the program at the end of the month.

“We did a survey with the people who are accessing the program to see if they preferred having meals delivered or if they wanted to come back in person occasionally,” says Houle.

“Everyone we talked to are looking forward to coming back in person to socialize with people from our community,” she adds.

Houle says that there are some cases where people have physical issues or they’re over 80 years of age and transportation can be difficult, or leaving home is stressful and tiresome, and those individuals have opted to just keep having their meals delivered.

The Wheels to Meals program is a food delivery service that is offered weekly, and those who use the program can order as many meals as they’d like. Houle says many individuals will order multiple portions to freeze and to eat throughout the week, making food preparation a lot more convenient.

“Home Support clients identified that they would benefit from having healthy cooked meals in addition to opportunities to connect with their peers,” says Houle.

“Clients accessing the program pay $8 in person at Marie Reine Cultural Centre and $10 if they want it delivered. The fees go back into the facilitation of the Wheels to Meals Program.”

Although the program is run weekly delivering to homes, the last Wednesday of each month will reintroduce the in-person component. The first in-person meal will be on March 27 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

“It will be set up as a lunch and learn style with guest speakers attending each month,” says Houle.

“We will have people come to talk about the various programs offered in the region,” she adds.

Houle says she will be providing the first speech to help educated attendees on the programs FCSS provides in the region, and she will also be looking for feedback from diners on what they would like to see added to the roster of programs.

The program is now held at the Marie Reine Cultural Centre and Houle says Northern Sunrise County supplements the cost of the program, making it more cost effective for low-income people. The program offers different meals each week with meals planned around the grocery store specials to ensure costs are kept low.

“Meals all consist of a starter, entrée, and a dessert,” she says. “They are all home-cooked the day of by our two Wheels to Meals coordinators.”

Houle says a special meal is also served for holidays, with ham or turkey dinners created with all the fixings. Currently, they cook upwards of 45 meals at any given time, with some clients buying more than one meal so they have meals for many days. The community van is also available for people to use if they are unable to drive on their own.

If you would like more information on the program, would like to order a meal, or have an interest in using the community van, please phone the Nampa/Northern Sunrise County office at (780) 625-3287.

by Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News –

Original Published on Mar 27, 2024 at 17:20

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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