Delivered meals available for qualified seniors during pandemic

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 613 will do their best to help seniors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fonthill chapter announced over the weekend they will attempt to provide heat-and-serve dinner deliveries for seniors in the Pelham area. Legion member Jim Garner stressed, however, that there is only so much they can do.

“We’re really in uncharted waters,” Garner said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime and I classify myself as a senior as I’m beyond age 65. We’re just going to do our best effort.”

The idea is straightforward. Senior citizens in the Pelham area who are unable to go grocery shopping —or are perhaps fearful of doing so—can call or email the Legion during the day and leave a message. Subject to availability, a dinner will be delivered to their homes that evening. Meals will be limited per household.

Legion president Toni Lawrence came up with the idea after unprecedented restrictions on gatherings were put in place by the federal, provincial and regional governments last week.

“I told Toni that this is a great idea, this is a great initiative, but we have to be careful of not over-promising and under-delivering,” Garner said. “Toni is such a key and critical person here, she’s the one that makes this all happen. She is just a truly wonderful person.”

As it stands now, Lawrence has a small team of volunteers cooking at the Legion during the day. However, that could change at any time if local governments enact “shelter in place” regulations that would effectively lock down the municipality.

“It’ll be contingent upon a couple of things,” Garner said. “One, the ability for the Legion’s kitchen to continue to operate … the second is as long as we can have our supplier continue to give us a sufficient amount of the takeout containers, and third, as long as we can get supplies into the Legion without breaking our bank either. The food costs are something we’re picking up.”

As a result, donations are more than welcome in this time of need. Any qualified senior who needs a meal delivered, or anyone willing to donate food or funds, is asked to call the Legion at 905-892-6293, or Peggy Palmer at 905-735-0229. Messages can be left. Lawrence and Palmer can also be emailed at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

“Everybody is pretty overwhelmed by this,” Garner said. “And if we can do a small part as a service club, we will.”



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