Meals on Wheels may be the only social interaction some have on Christmas Day

By Mike Puffer

Art Myers, left, and Len Skelton, right, volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

It’s the time of year when we look ahead just a few weeks to the Christmas season. For many people, it’s a ‘warm and fuzzy’ exercise as they anticipate family gatherings and meals accented with laughter, merriment and reflections of their blessings. It’s not necessarily so for everyone, however.

As much as the holiday season can be heartwarming and positive for some, it also a very ‘blue’ time for others who may be without family and friends. Stress of the holidays can combine with circumstances that trigger sadness and melancholy instead of happiness and positive moods. Not everybody looks forward to the holidays, especially if it means being alone.

For 52 weeks of the year, Community Care’s Meals on Wheels program brings a vital service home to many local residents. Not only does the program provide healthy, hot meals to those who are experiencing challenges with cooking for themselves, but it provides an important social interaction between recipients and the volunteers who make the deliveries. Last year, more than 24,000 meals were delivered to local residents who appreciate the nutritious and affordable option to having to cook for themselves.

Often, volunteers find that the clients appreciate the opportunity to have a quick visit just as much as the food itself. For some, the interaction at the door may be the only social exchange that a client has in his/her day.

And that day could be Dec. 25. For many years, Community Care has ensured that a good meal gets delivered to local people who are otherwise alone on Christmas Day. In incredible displays of generosity and kindness, some staff and their family members take time during the big day to deliver meals to clients, and to bring them a helping of warm wishes and friendship. To the clients, the gesture is priceless. To the staff members who volunteer their time, the rewards must be just as immeasurable.

Community Care strives to improve the health and well being of everyone in our municipality at all times of the year. Ensuring that clients who are alone on Dec. 25 get at least one visitor that day, who just happens to be bearing a hot meal and a warm greeting, is truly displaying the spirit of the season.

–Mike Puffer is the communications officer for Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes

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