More than just hot meals
102-year-old given grant to receive nutritious meals at a reasonable price.
Kelowna - Bertha Smith looks forward to Monday and Friday visits from a Meals on Wheels volunteer, and it's not just for the hot meals.
"I don't do hardly any cooking now," the 102-year-old Kelowna senior admitted this week as she received a special visit from volunteer co-ordinator Marion Bremner.
Bremner dropped in with Kiwanis High Noon president John Ferrol and Kelowna Kelowna Princess Jenna Chapman, the youngest volunteer, to introduce them to a long-time client.
Ferral brought the club's third annual $5,000.00 grant for Meals on Wheels and Dinners @ Home which serve seniors and disadvantaged persons.
"I've been getting meals for 10 years. It's super. I really enjoy it." said Smith. "I put some away for supper time. I get my Wednesday meal at the Salvation Army's seniors' meeting."
"This makes sure Bertha continues to receive good nutrition at a reasonable price." said Bremner. "This is the closest to home-cooked flavour you can get."
A recent North Okanagan study showed that up to 59 percent of those 71 and older entering hospital are suffering from malnutrition.
Some can't be bothered to cook because their spouse is gone; they forget; or they can't get out to buy groceries.
"Our volunteers check to make sure clients are OK. A couple of times they've fallen down or they're not quite right." said Bremner.
Meals on Wheels has a contact number, a family member or friend, who can come over.
"It's also peace of mind for family members to know we're checking on them. In some cases, our clients don't get out much. Many don't have any social interaction except with our volunteers three times a week." said Bremner.
Meals on Wheels and Dinners @ Home prepare and deliver more than 12,000 hot meals and more than 12,000 frozen dinners every year.
For $4.50, clients receive soup, a main course of fish or meat, mashed potatoes and a vegetable, and dessert.
Meal preparation is supervised by a nutritionist or dietician.
During the recent evacuation, an elderly couple ended up at a local motel but the wife had to rush to hospital. That left her 90-year old husband without any food and no means to get out to buy a meal.
"We can respond very quickly," said Bremner. "I can deliver it myself'.
Smith walks daily and sews quilts using a treadle sewing machine.
During this week's visit, she showed Chapman how she completes the sewint by hand.
Chapman began delivering meals to shut-ins with her grandmother Josselyn Dunlap, at the age of 12.