Though its doors have been temporarily closed, the Schubert Centre is delivering more meals to Vernon seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The centre has expanded its Meals on Wheels program to serve seniors who must remain in isolation throughout the pandemic. Manager Shirley Higgins says hundred of meals have been prepared, organized and delivered in the past week.
“Our philosophy is no senior will go unfed in our community. All they have to do is reach out and we will be there to help them,” Higgins said Tuesday, March 27.
“We’ve taken all necessary precautions. Deliverers all have masks and gloves, they put the food outside and make sure the person opens the door to receive it so that we are keeping our social distancing.”
The Schubert Centre has often covered costs of the program in the past, as securing grants isn’t always possible.
On Tuesday the centre received a $10,000 grant for Meals on Wheels, but with the program expanded to include more seniors in the community than usual, donations will be needed to keep Meals on Wheels rolling.
“We still need more donations and more funding to continue this very needed service in our community,” Higgins said.
The Schubert Centre was forced to lay off its entire staff March 27, but team members have stepped up as volunteers to keep Meals on Wheels operating on an even larger scale.
Finance director Shell Duggan is maintaining the program’s bookkeeping, coordinators Carol Wynd and Nancy Hadley are donating their time to organize prepared meals for delivery, and chef Taylor Belanger has been busy manning the kitchen on a volunteer basis.
“Without this tremendous support from all our volunteers, the Schubert Centre would not be able to continue this very needed service in the community at this time,” said Higgins.
“And the unsung heroes are the drivers,” she added. Each volunteer delivery team has a driver and a passenger who ensure food is delivered safely according to guidelines provided by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
To learn more about Meals on Wheels or to support the program, call 250-549-4201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.