It's been a mainstay in the community for many, many years and they are continuing their valuable service to their clients. 

"Meals on Wheel is a program that Home Care has been managing for over two decades," explained Debbie Augey, Volunteer Coordinator, "It's been running here a lot longer than that before we were involved."

"The meals are produced at the hospital and they are lunchtime meals. The Meals on Wheels program involves volunteers from across the city from many different organizations, churches, businesses, service groups as well as a number of independent people. And they come and deliver the meals out to the community every week of the year, so 52 weeks, holidays included Monday through Friday."

Volunteers then pick up the prepared meals and deliver them throughout the city. 

"The meals are ready for pick up at 11:15 am and it takes approximately and hour or so to deliver the meals."

"We actually have the city divided into two areas, the north and the south sides and generally we'll have two pairs of drivers deliver to each of those sides. So we have four drivers each day that come and pick up the meals ."

"What they do is they pick up the meals at the hospital, they take them around and they spend a minute or two at each stop to spread a bit of cheer and visit with the client receiving that day. They unwrap the meal for them and pick up any previous containers from other days of the deliveries and load everything up in their van or car and return all of those empty parts back to the hospital at the end of their route."

She mentioned that the program is looking for more volunteers. 

"We have roughly 19-20 different groups as well as nine different churches that have been helping us out for the past several years."

"We're looking for friendly people who would have time over the lunch hour to do this. And we try to schedule groups and people according to their schedule. In other words, different groups will maybe have a week in the winter or maybe it's only every Monday, Wednesday, or Friday for a couple weeks. it just depends on the particular organization and how their manpower is."

"I am generally lucky enough to bring on about two different new groups a year. Sometimes groups will come on and off the program, they're able to help for a number of years and then due to manpower shortages, they find that they need to take a little bit of a reprieve. And then they might come back to us after a few years and get involved again."

She added that over the many years, the churches in Estevan have carried a good part of the job. However, nowadays, with declining church congregation and an increase in age of those attending, many of those who use to give, are now finding themselves on the receiving end.

"It's not always easy in this day and age where everyone works to be able to fill those shoes, to be able to resupply that man power. Any group that would be interested, I would always be happy to talk to them."

"You could contact me by phone or come down to the office. All of our volunteers are required to do police record checks and criminal record check including the vulnerable sector component of that check. I also have them fill out basic volunteer application form. Another important part of what we do is have them read and understand the code of confidentiality so they understand how important it is to maintain confidentiality. Privacy and respect for the person is very important."

Estevan Area Home Care is also one of the United Way Member Agencies and they are looking forward to the upcoming Telethon. 

"The community has always been very supportive of the United Way and they have a wonderful track record." 

 

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