Meals on Wheels delivering last meal

Alternatives available: Less funding, fewer clients mean seniors’ aid program parked

Cowichan Lake Community Services has announced it is closing the Meals on Wheels program provided to local seniors.

Executive director Carol Blatchford explained the main reason for the closure was due to lack of funding.

“We (always) got our funding from the Ministry of Health and we lost the funding due to lack of clients,” said Blatchford, who also said the funding was “dwindling” in recent times anyway.

“They didn’t cut our funds, we just haven’t been able to get the numbers so we just can’t do it anymore.”

Meals on Wheels provides hot meals to seniors or people with serious medical conditions or injuries, whilst staff who deliver the meals constantly check on the safety of the recipient.

Blatchford said closures of a similar ilk are happening all across British Columbia.

“This is not just Lake Cowichan, this is happening all over the province and the major reason is that programs just don’t have enough clients.”

Seemingly though, Cowichan Lake Community Services has a short-term plan in place for the current small crop of meals clients.

“We have a list of four other agencies that deliver meals so there is an alternative,” said Blatchford. “That could be the reason for the decline. You look at the grocery stores, people can easily buy salads or frozen meals these days. With some of the other agencies too, people can choose what they want to eat, and we can’t do that so that could be another reason.”

Cowichan Lake Community Services chairperson Scott Paro said in a press release that he was “sorry” about the closure.

He stated “the board has been trying very hard to keep this program going over the past two years  but with the continuing decline in funding and decrease in clients, the program is no longer viable.”

Paro said current clients have been given other options. The last day of service will be Dec. 31.

Nevertheless a defiant Blatchford retains hopes of opening a similar program for the lake again one day.

“We would never close the door to anything,” she said. “If this again became a service that was in great need, we at community services would look at it.”

—Ross Armour

Just Posted

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read