Meals on Wheels helps maintain healthy diet

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

If you are 55 years or older or have limitations, and struggle to make your own meals, the Nampa/Northern Sunrise County have a program to help you.
The Wheels to Meals program is a low cost program that helps people maintain a healthy diet even when they cannot cook on their own.
“A lot of the home support clients identified that they would benefit from having healthy cooked meals in addition to opportunities to connect with their peers,” says FCSS director of community services Amber Houle.
“The Wheels to Meals program was initially an in-person program where seniors would drive or board our community van and head to the Harmon Valley Hall to enjoy their meal with other seniors.”
During the pandemic the program was adapted into a delivery style program to ensure clients had access to a healthy meal while keeping them safe and happy. The program is now held out of the Marie Reine Cultural Centre.
Houle says Northern Sunrise County supplements the cost of the program, making it more cost effective for low-income people.
“Clients accessing the program pay $8 if they pick up their meals at Marie Reine Cultural Centre and $10 if they want it delivered,” says Houle.
“The fees go back into the facilitation of the Wheels to Meals Program.”
The program offers different meals each week. Houle says that they plan meals 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 your 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 purchasing more than one meal so they have meals for many days.
“Our Wheels to Meals coordinator will inform clients what the meal will be for the following week,” says Houle.
“We do accommodate dietary requirements and will modify the meal to meet the client’s needs.”
The Wheels to Meals program is offered every Wednesday, with meals delivered between 11 am and 1 p.m.
“When we deliver the meals, the Wheels to Meals coordinators do wellness check ins to ensure that the seniors are all right,” she says. “When we move back to the in-person format, the program also assists with decreasing the isolation that many of our seniors experience, especially in our more rural and remote areas, and provides an opportunity for seniors to meet their neighbours.”
If you would like more information on the program or would like to order a meal, please phone the Nampa/Northern Sunrise County office at (780) 625-3287.

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