Last week the local Meals on Wheels service expanded, making it available five days a week in Iroquois.
“This expansion will help meet the need,” explained Meals on Wheels chairperson Glenn Becksted.
Bob Ruddock, treasurer with Meals on Wheels, said that demand for the service is up about 30 percent in 2012.
Although the increased demand may be mostly due to an aging population, those who work with the program speculate that the reliable service, the extra effort to meet the dietary needs of the clients and the excellent value for money, could also be factors in the programs increasing popularity.
According to Becksted, the reliability is thanks to the efforts of the well over 60 volunteers who deliver the meals.
“Especially this time of year, they go through all kinds of weather to ensure that the meals get to our clients,” he said. “They are a wonderful, faithful and dedicated group.”
“Our cooks work hard to prepare great meals and to ensure that the special needs of our clients are being met, everyday,” said Becksted.
The Local Health Integration Network partially funds Meals on Wheels. They provide operational funding which covers the costs of the kitchen and its staff.
The cost of food is covered by the clients fees, which are less than $5 per meal.
Other costs, like the cost of new food trays and delivery bags, are covered by donations from area service clubs.
In order to expand the local Meals on Wheels service to Iroquois to five days a week from the previous three days a week, more food trays and delivery bags needed to be purchased.
The purchase of the additional equipment was about $1,400. So, on the kickoff day to the expanded service, Meals on Wheels officials were pleased to accept a $500 donation from the Iroquois Legion to help offset those costs.
“We appreciate the service that Meals on Wheels offers this community,” said Ralph Martin, acting president of the Iroquois Legion Branch 370, who was pleased that the Iroquois Legion Poppy Fund could help expand the service for Iroquois.
Meals on Wheels provides 150 meals a week to area residents.