By Bobinec, Greg on December 3, 2019.
A group of local businesses and organizations have teamed up again to bring more than 2,000 hot meals throughout December to isolated individuals in the community, for the 11th annual Meals on Wheels, 23 Days of Christmas campaign.
On average, Meals on Wheels delivers for 23 days in December, and the goal of the campaign is to have Lethbridge groups sponsor each of the days by donating the necessary funds to keep the vital service operating throughout the year and keep services affordable.
“Meals on Wheels is an international program that is set up to be a way for people that are isolated and really need someone to bring them a meal, these people are unable to make food for themselves and they are unable to get out,” says Rob Miyashiro, executive director of Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization. “A lot of these people have to get their groceries brought in. A lot of them, other than our meal, they don’t do a hot meal. It is healthy food that is made in our building by chefs, it is nutritious and we try to make a good variety, and it is really inexpensive.”
Joining the campaign this year is the Italian Table, who will be joining two other organizations for the Meals on Wheels Christmas card, where community members are able to purchase a card for $20 which will go towards the campaign, but also comes with a $20 gift in products.
“Hitting the milestone of 10 years last year and moving towards our 11th, it is exciting to go forward and have the program expand, to have the Italian Table come aboard and join our Christmas Card campaign with Urban Grocer and Cuppers, it has been a great addition and has added a whole new flavour to our campaign,” says Ryan Miller, CEO of Teamwork Training Ltd. “The Meals on Wheels organization does an amazing job all year round of helping people such as seniors and other people that have needs, to be able to have a hot meal and stay in their homes and be able to keep their independence. This time of year is just a fun time to celebrate using the Christmas season and the month of December to bring attention to that and focus on and raise some dollars to keep that organization vibrant throughout the whole year.”
In one decade, Meals on Wheels was able to raise over $200,000 to keep the organization running year round. With hitting a milestone, the organization and partnering businesses hope to keep the momentum going far into the next decade to help isolated individuals in the community.
“Two hundred thousand dollars was an amazing milestone to accomplish last year and again we are encouraging individuals, groups and businesses to make 2019 another success by becoming an Honorary Chef for the Day,” says Miller. “It is a great way to make a difference during the Christmas season. Honorary chefs also have the option to assist with delivering meals on their sponsored day. This has become a popular tradition for many businesses.”
A full-day for head chef can be sponsored for $1,000, or a half-day sous chef can be sponsored for $500.
Meals on Wheels has operated in Lethbridge since 1970 and has provided between 80 and 100 hot meals per day for members of the community who cannot provide for themselves. For more information on becoming an honorary chef or purchasing the 23 Days of Christmas Card, contact Teamwork Training at 403-382-3770, Meals on Wheels, or any of the campaign partners.
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