May 18th, 2024

Meals on Wheels campaign on a roll for another Christmas

By Lethbridge Herald on November 30, 2021.

Teamwork Training’s Ryan Miller, Italian Table’s Jason Austin, Cupper’s Nancy Graham and LSCO’s Rob Miyashiro and Shiloh Sabas helped kick off the 13th annual Meals on Wheels 23 days of Christmas campaign. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald

The 13th annual Meals on Wheels 23 Days of Christmas Campaign was launched on Tuesday at the Italian Table. 

On average, 2,000 meals are delivered over 23 days in December by Meals on Wheels. The goal of this campaign, organized by Teamworks Career Centre and Select People Solutions, is to sponsor all of these meals through the 23 Days of Christmas Campaign to raise funds to keep the organization fully operational through the full year.

“On day one to know that we have 99 per cent of our days already sponsored for the Meals on Wheels organization, it’s a great start to start our Christmas card campaign,” said Ryan Miller, President of Teamwork Training. 

He explained that they will not stop at 23 days if they have extra support. He said that they would sponsor days in January if they have to. 

“The fact is that the more funds we can generate for this organization, keeps them vibrant throughout the year and allows them to service more people,” said Miller. 

Miller said that the campaign is geared towards helping the Meals on Wheels organization deliver valuable services to people in the community. Those could be seniors or people that have other life barriers or circumstances that make it difficult for them to have hot meals. 

Meals on Wheels has operated in Lethbridge since 1970 and provides over 100 hot and nutritious meals per day for members of the community who cannot provide for themselves. Now a part of the Lethbridge Senior Citizen Organization (LSCO), Meals on Wheels relies on local volunteers to assist with the delivery of the meals prepared daily in the LSCO’s kitchen. 

“Without a program like this, our customers of Meals on Wheels would be paying way more,” said Rob Miyashiro, LSCO executive director.

He added they have not had an increase in the cost of meals since the LSCO merged with the Meals on Wheels organization, but he believes that in January they might need a boost because of supply chain issues and COVID issues as there is a real strain. 

“We are feeling it the same way and we are going to see the prices go up and as a not-for-profit charity it is really difficult for us on our own to subsidize the meal cost, but having an initiative like this is so helpful and so much appreciated,” said Miyashiro. 

Businesses, community groups, and individuals can support this campaign by becoming honourary chefs and sponsoring a full day of meals, or by sponsoring a single meal by purchasing a special MOW Christmas Card. Honourary chefs also have the option to assist with delivering meals on their sponsored day. This has become a popular tradition for many businesses. 

Over the past 13 years, this campaign has raised well over $250,000 for Meals on Wheels and this year, Teamworks Career Centre and Select People Solutions have set a goal to raise $30,000 to recognize their 30 year anniversary as a small business in the community. 

“To be already so close to it (reaching the goal) early in the campaign just means the world to us and it just shows us how incredible the people in this community are,” said Miller. 

Today marks the launch of the 23 Days of Christmas Card sales. In partnership with Cupper’s Coffee and Tea, Italian Table and Urban Grocer, a $20 special Christmas card can be purchased which includes a $20 gift certificate for their business. For every card purchased, their partners will donate $10 to sponsor one meal. 

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