“Mayors for Meals” gives boost to local Meals on Wheels program


By Joel Charron

Mayor Wayne Hurst helped shine a little more light on the Meals on Wheel program by participating in the “Mayors for Meals” initiative.

Hurst helped deliver a meal to local resident Margaret Perry Wednesday morning. The Meals on Wheel program is organized by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS.)

According to ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo  the Meals on Wheels program serves roughly 1,000 meals per month and notes that the program will surpass 21,000 meals this year.

ACS provides service to LaSalle, McGregor and Harrow.

“These are services in our community that are so very important,” said Hurst. “When you see their faces light up, it makes one feel good when you’re able to provide a level of service that would enable these individuals to remain in their home and stay in the place where they are most comfortable.”

Hurst mentioned that ACS doesn’t only cater to seniors but provides services to a wide range of people that are in need.

“Everyone is aware that the need is there,” said Hurst.


Mayor Wayne Hurst (far right) helped promote Amherstburg Community Services' Meals on Wheels program in the "Mayors for Meals" initiative Wednesday, March 21. From left: meal recipient Margaret Perry, volunteer Paula Beneteau, Amherstburg Community Services executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Mayor Wayne Hurst.

Hurst boasted that Amherstburg is a community that helps another, stating he was “elated” when knowing he could help the Meals on Wheels program.

“If it wasn’t for the people who volunteer with Meals on Wheels a lot of people would be doing without,” he said. “That’s what this community is all about, it  really is.”

DiBartolomeo said the Meals on Wheels program helps seniors remain independent and allows them to stay in their homes longer. Those caring for them also face stress and the program provides them relief, she added, and it also gives peace of mind to family members who are out-of-town knowing their loved ones are being taken care of.

“It not only assists the seniors but the caregivers as well,” she said.

DiBartolomeo added that seniors aren’t the only ones who uses the program; those who can’t provide themselves with healthy, nutritious meals also take advantage of the community program.

Transportation and visitation programs also see their numbers “rapidly increasing,” said DiBartolomeo.   She added that such programs are important for towns like Amherstburg in case a person needs to be taken around the community or to Windsor.

Meals on Wheel volunteer Paula Beneteau said she began volunteering eight months ago as a way to give back to the community. She said she would follow her sister-in-law, another program volunteer, before she decided to start volunteering herself.

“It just makes you feel good,” said Beneteau. “One day you never know, I may need help like this and I hope there are people that would do the same for me.”

Perry has been receiving Meals on Wheels for approximately six months.

“They do very good meals whenever it is brought out to you. Everything is good,” she said. “The meals are perfect. Every one of them.”

Perry said she also enjoys meeting the Meals on Wheels volunteers.

Perry also noted that the meals provide relief to her as well.

“I don’t have to do as much cooking,” joked Perry.

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