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Help Red Deer Meals on Wheels support clients with nutritious meals

Meal service caters to specialized diets for clients
Red Deer Meals on Wheels is looking to increase donations to assist vulnerable Red Deer residents who have difficulty obtaining or preparing a meal for themselves. (Image from Red Deer Meals on Wheels on Facebook)

More Red Deerians enjoyed meals with their families this holiday season instead of relying on Meals on Wheels.

“A lot were able to spend time either going home to the family, or spending the day with the family. We’re back to what it was in 2019,” said program coordinator Louise Lamberigts, recalling pre-COVID Christmases.

But inflation is taking a bite out of the non-profit’s donations so Red Deer Meals on Wheels is looking to boost donations.

Lamberigts said there are currently 124 clients using the service who are vulnerable and have difficulty obtaining or preparing a meal for themselves, and that number remains fairly stable.

From Monday to Friday, Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver freshly prepared hot, noon meals that include soup, a main course and dessert for $9 each.

Most clients are seniors who are staying in their homes longer, some have been released from hospital and are still recuperating, while others have disabilities.


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Lamberigts said some clients require specialized meals, for example, those with diabetes, lactose intolerance, on dialysis, or follow heart smart or gluten-free diets. Without the help of Meals on Wheels, they can end up eating the same food on repeat, lose their appetites and don’t eat properly.

“We are here so they get a nutritionally balanced meal each day. Something that they would like to eat.”

She said there are meals that clients really love — Salisbury steak, meatloaf, and pork roulade. Clients also enjoy receiving a turkey dinner with all the fixings every nine weeks.

Meals are prepared at Brother’z Diner.

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The non-profit, which has operated in Red Deer since 1979, wants to spread the word that there’s more than one way to donate to ensure clients who are financially stretched receive the meals they need.

Among the options, people can donate to pay for meals for a specific client so the donor knows exactly how their donation will be spent, or they can allow the non-profit to chose a client who needs help, Lamberigts said.

“For those who are vulnerable, struggling with the rising cost of living, that is extremely helpful.”

For more information about Red Deer Meals on Wheels, or to donate, call 403-340-2511.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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