Miriam Lovett regularly takes part in the Congregate Meal Program at Granite House, a seniors’ housing complex on Henderson Highway. For just $6.50, she can dine on a delicious and nutritious home-cooked meal – such as ham and scalloped potatoes, with coffee or tea and dessert.
“It’s so important to get out when you get to my age,” says 88-year-old Lovett. “There are too many people that don’t. They sit in their suites and vegetate.”
The meal program operates three times a week and is run jointly by the River East Council for Seniors and the Good Neighbours Active Living Centre. Between 20 and 30 seniors attend each meal and, thanks to a grant from The Winnipeg Foundation, a shuttle picks up 10 to 15 people from nearby residences once a week, ensuring seniors like Lovett can participate.
Without the shuttle service, dubbed Wheels to Meals, many would not be able to attend, says Program Facilitator, Shelley Hillis.
“We are able to bring them to the meal without charging them for the ride,” Hillis says. “Without the transportation, some just don’t have the means [to attend]. I think it gives them the drive, knowing that their friends are going to jump on the bus with them.”