Celebrating National Meals on Wheels Week
This photograph depicts members of a London WVS centre, in 1947, loading pails containing individually portioned Meals on Wheels onto a delivery van. Source: Royal Voluntary ServiceThe first ever “Meals on Wheels” program originated 75 years ago in Great Britain, during World War II and the German Blitz. At that time thousands of people had lost their homes and had no way of cooking meals for their families so the Women’s Volunteer Service (WVS) for Civil Defense of Great Britain (now known as the Royal Voluntary Service) started preparing and delivering meals to those in need. These volunteer women also delivered refreshments on carts or “canteens” to soldiers and these canteens soon became known as “Meals on Wheels,” giving the nutritional program its name and providing a legacy of care that continues to this day in communities around the world.
Every year, Meals on Wheels programs across the country celebrate this rich history during National Meals on Wheels Week, a week of awareness for this valuable program and the tremendous impact that Meals on Wheels volunteers have on individuals in the community.
This year, this week holds special significance for Caledon Meals on Wheels (CMOW) as October 3, 1984, marks the first day that meals were delivered by CMOW volunteers. Last year alone, CMOW volunteers delivered over 22,000 meals to individuals in the Caledon and Orangeville area. That’s over 400 meals a week. All thanks to our volunteers, some of whom have been delivering meals for us for over 25 years! It is their years of service and their commitment to caring for individuals in our community that make our community what it is today.
As the founder of the WVS and first Meals on Wheels program, Lady Stella Reading once said, “The ultimate strength of a nation lies in the character of the men and women who are that nation and voluntary service is an integral part of that character.” The same holds true for our volunteers.
From October 6 to 10, 2014, CMOW is celebrating National Meals on Wheels week. Thank you to our volunteers for their good work in helping us continue this legacy of care and for our donors, sponsors and funders for giving us the financial support that enables us to continue to serve our community.
Thank you to the organizations that have generously sponsorsed meals this week:
Monday, October 6—Forest Trim and Doors in Bolton
Wednesday, October 8—RE/MAX In The Hills Inc., Brokerage, Chris P. Richie