The Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre prepared and delivered its 10,000th meal to a senior on Tuesday, June 8.
John, a volunteer driver who has been delivering meals for over a year, took a delicious-looking pork and potatoes meal to Lorraine and Judy.
“It’s a great program,” said Lorraine.
The meals are created and delivered by volunteers along with the centre’s chef who oversees meal selection and preparation.
In partnership with One Sky Community Resources and in response to a need created by COVID restrictions, the Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre Society (The Centre) has been preparing and delivering hot meals to seniors in the city since May 21, 2020, said the seniors’ centre’s, Liz Hansen.
The program is known as Meals-To-Go and any senior is eligible for the program.
One Sky takes the orders and payments and arranges for volunteer drivers to deliver the meals.
The program has been made possible by grants from the One Sky Community Resources, the United Way and Valley First Credit Union. The funds have been used to provide healthy, nutritious meals at a very reasonable cost for the recipients.
The Centre’s chef Brian Benning prepares 100 meals every Tuesday and 100 meals every Thursday. Five volunteers work each day in the kitchen with Brian to package and pack the meals in insulated bags so they are ready for delivery.
Eight volunteer drivers pick up the meals, deliver them and then return the insulated bags back to The Centre along with stories gathered from the day’s deliveries.
Some of the meals will go to seniors who are shut-ins whose only point of contact is with the volunteer driver.
The recipients look forward to receiving the hot meals and have been appreciative of the opportunity to have a quick chat with the drivers.
“With the COVID restrictions, these visits have meant more than the meals in some cases as they have provided opportunities for safe social interactions,” said Hansen.