Rimbey Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Diana Pearman picks up a bin of supplies to start her week of delivering the hot meals.photo submitted

Rimbey Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Diana Pearman picks up a bin of supplies to start her week of delivering the hot meals. photo submitted

Rimbey’s Meals on Wheels program continues to meet the need

Volunteers are always welcome to help with the long-running FCSS program

Rimbey’s Meals on Wheels program – run through the local FCSS office – continues to meet the need of several residents in the community.

“Meals on Wheels is an awesome program that anyone can sign up for,” said Jamie Coston, volunteer programs coordinator with Rimbey Family Community Support Services.

“We have about 15 volunteers that rotate – they take a turn and do a whole week of delivering meals at lunchtime.

“So it’s a hot meal from the Valley View Manor. The volunteers pick up the meals at the Manor around 11:30 a.m. and the volunteers then go and drop off the meals to whoever is signed up with the program. They receive a hot, fresh meal and you can get it from Monday to Friday,” she explained.

Each meal costs $8.25. “It’s a fairly good price for a hot, delivered meal,” she said. “It’s a wonderful program and we really have amazing volunteers that will give an hour for five days each week,” she added.

It also serves as a check-up service on the well-being of recipients, but of course during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Coston added that safety precautions have also been put in place.

“We drop of the meals in a safe place outside so there is no contact,” she said.

Of course, that’s unfortunate because it prevents any kind of visiting – which is normally an important part of the daily drop-off.

“We miss the interaction with the people, but the volunteers are trying to keep things safer,” she said.

“The volunteers also love the program – they miss the interaction because it used to be knocking on the door, heading into the home, setting the meal down and having a little visit,” she said. “So the volunteers have absolutely said that they miss the interactions with the people. But they love being able to give everyone a hot meal.

Meanwhile, the Manor prepares wonderful meals for sure.

“They don’t even repeat for 19 days, so you really do get a huge variety,” she said, adding that another goal of the program is to assist and support seniors to live on their own.

These days, FCSS has about 10 people signed up to receive the meals.

“Some people receive the meals two days each week; some people receive them each day of the week. Other people may receive them in spurts – they might get the meals for a month and then take a month off. So it’s very adaptable,” she explained.

If a client has a chance to, for example, got out for lunch on a given day they can simply phone up the FCSS office and say they are declining the meal that day, and that’s absolutely not a problem, said Coston.

Also, there is the Frozen Meal Program that is available as well.

“If you don’t live in town, you can buy freezer meals from us. We partnered with Rendezvous restaurant here in town and they make up some frozen meals. We have them in our freezer, and folks can phone or just show up and say you’d like a meal – they can e-transfer or bring a cheque.

“There are absolutely people in the country who want this program but can’t access it, so this is our alternative to Meals on Wheels. So the programs work hand-in-hand and go together,” she said.

Anyone looking to receive meals is encouraged to call Coston at the FCSS office at 403-843-2030.

That goes for anyone looking to help out in a volunteer capacity as well, she said, adding that there is always room for more helping hands with the program, too.

“With more volunteers, we can rotate them more often as well,” she said.

Ultimately, there is a wide range of helpful programs run through the Rimbey FCSS including everything from Volunteer Visitors, Home Support Services to Palliative Care and Personal Care amongst others.

“I have an amazingly rewarding job,” she said. “I get to match up people who need help with people who are wanting to help out,” she added. “The people who are helping get as much joy as those who are getting the help as well!”

Again, for more information, call the FCSS office at 403-843-2030.

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