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March 17, 2020: An important message from Meals on Wheels
Here at Meals on Wheels (Ottawa), we are working diligently and refocusing our energies on adjusting meal delivery protocols to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the best continuity of our service while keeping the community healthy.
We receive daily Situation Reports from the Ministry of Health and are in regular contact with Ottawa Public Health. We follow their recommendations very closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our clients, volunteers, and staff. Local Community Support Service agencies are also working together to ensure the least disruption of our essential services.
Meals on Wheels (Ottawa) is continuing to deliver meals to clients with some changes in our delivery procedures. We are asking clients to consider switching from our daily hot meal service to a frozen meal bulk delivery to limit face to face contact and to relieve workload at our hot meal kitchens.
We are also recommending clients have non-perishable food on hand and order additional frozen meals in bulk. Our frozen meals can be heated in microwaves or ovens. Clients can have 1 or 2 week supply of pre-selected frozen entrees delivered.
If clients want to select their own frozen meal entrees, they can call or order online. Note, deliveries for self-selected frozen meals take longer for delivery.
We understand our usual daily volunteer contact is important to clients and we are making arrangements to continue our check-ins by phone. Already, Meals on Wheels (Ottawa) is calling clients to complete a respiratory infection screener, as well as identifying those who are our most vulnerable clients.
Meals on Wheels (Ottawa) volunteers are being screened daily before going on delivery routes to identify those who have traveled, are in contact with those who have traveled, or showing signs of illness. Those who do not pass our screening process will not be able to volunteer. Volunteers have also been told to follow strict health and hygiene practices, including:
Many of our meal providers are long-term care facilities or retirement homes also serving a vulnerable population and have implemented additional safety measures. Extra vigilance is being taken to sanitize equipment such as our delivery bags, and face to face contact between volunteers and kitchen staff is being limited.
The Meals on Wheels (Ottawa) office also introduced internal measures. We are restricting access into the building as much as possible and screening those who need to enter. Workspaces are also being sanitized daily.
Meals on Wheels provides a vital service to a vulnerable population, and in this time of uncertainty we know the community will come together to support one another. In an outbreak situation our service becomes even more important, and we may see an increase in need.
We are asking the general public for their support. In particular, we are looking for:
As circumstances change, we will continue to adapt our plans and protocols to address the safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff in response to the evolving situation.
Our website will be updated with any new changes. Please check here for details.
For frequent updates and important information, please also visit:
As always, please get in touch if you have any questions. You may reach us by phone at 613-233-2424 or by email at email@example.com.
We have delivered almost 4.5 million meals since our founding in 1968.