Oakville Meals on Wheels serves one millionth meal as client list grows

Published October 13, 2020 at 7:11 pm

It’s an appropriate coincidence that Oakville Meals on Wheels delivered its one millionth meal during Thanksgiving weekend.

Appropriate because even though many wish the service didn’t have to exist, there are one million examples of those who are thankful that it does.

Meals on Wheels has been operating in Oakville since 1976, delivering nutritious meals to those who are unable to attend to their own nutritional needs, but continue to live independently. For the most part, clients have been seniors or those living with disabilities. That has changed.

“We have been delivering to those in their 20s,” said Michelle Nichols, manager of client services. She said the coronavirus has created a new landscape for the organization, one that shows the need is greater today than in past times.

She said when the organization started 44 years ago, 1,000 meals were delivered the first year. That number has grown to 500 each week in regular times.

Nichols points out that since March, when COVID-19 first hit, the number of hot meals delivered has doubled, while the number of cold meals has tripled.

She said because of the unique circumstances this year, the service Meals on Wheels provides is greater than ever as the coronavirus has locked people away from friends and relatives and that the socialization the volunteers provide is some measure of relief for the clients. She said this has made Meals on Wheel an essential service in Oakville no matter what the age is of the person in need.

For the one millionth meal, long-time volunteer Robin Jepson delivered to a client identified as Mr. Barnes who, at 100 years of age, is the oldest recipient of food that the organization serves.

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