Brampton home to Canada’s first and oldest Meals on Wheels


Published August 24, 2022 at 12:16 pm

Nearly 60 years after delivering its first meal in Brampton, Canada’s first-ever Meals on Wheels is still rolling out food to seniors and those in need.

Meals on Wheels first opened in Brampton back in the spring of 1963 and was the first in the country, followed by a location in Brantford that same year.

Executive director Karen Humber said meals were .50¢ each when the charity first started serving clients in Brampton. Since then the cost per meal has climbed to $6.00, and the  charity has served thousands of meals.

The charity offers both hot and frozen meal deliveries for seniors and individuals who need assistance through the support of volunteers.

A spike in clients during the COVID-19 pandemic meant Brampton Meals on Wheels was providing an extra 1,000 meals per month when the pandemic first hit, and Karen said 47,000 meals were delivered last year alone.

“Prior to the pandemic we were doing about 89 to 95 meals a day, and when the pandemic hit we were up to 125 meals a day,” Karen said. “We made it work and everything was seamless, although the pandemic was out there.”

Keeping the clients safe during the worst of the pandemic meant Karen and her team needed to change their delivery protocols while providing a much-needed service to the community.

The pandemic led to an increase in clients but also saw an increase in the number of volunteers available to donate their time, especially student and youth volunteers.

But the number of helpers have dropped now that many workplaces and schools have returned to full-time hours or in-person work. Karen said there are currently around 115 volunteers working at the Brampton location and she is always looking for more volunteers and drivers to help with programs.

With a 60th anniversary of the Brampton location fast approaching, Karen said she is still working out the details for a volunteer and community appreciation gala soon.

Meals on Wheels has community support services available in over 200 communities across Ontario with volunteers providing over 2 million meals each year across the province.

Brampton Meals on Wheels is based out of the Peel Manor long term care home at 525 Main St. North in Brampton. For more information on Meals on Wheels programs or to donate or volunteer visit

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