Serving up ‘More than Just a Meal’ in both official languages!

February 20, 2019

The former city of Vanier, now an Ottawa neighbourhood east of the Rideau River, is where the majority of our francophone clients call home. Meals on wheels has been a designated bilingual organization since 1999 and is made up of approximately 19% of clients who identify as francophone or bilingual. In our most recent Annual Client Survey (2018), 100% of respondents reported satisfaction with our French services.

The primary meal supplier for us in the Vanier area is the Centre d’accueil Champlain, a retirement residence located near the Richelieu Vanier Park. This kitchen has been a longstanding partner with Meals on Wheels for over 20 years. Monday through Friday, the Champlain kitchen prepares an average of over 40 meals per day for Meals on Wheels clients in the area.

Earlier last month, Meals on Wheels Coordinator of Volunteers, Jena Davarajah went out to the Vanier area to reach out to a few organizations in the community about our volunteer needs. We were able to drop by the Vanier-Richelieu Community Centre, Vanier Public Library and the Don Gamble Community Centre.  Jena spoke to staff about the Meals on Wheels service and asked them to post our volunteer recruitment brochures to share with their patrons. She received a warm reception from all those she spoke with.

One of our best forms of recruitment is words of mouth so feel free to share this post and tell your friends and families who may be interested in helping to bring a hot meal with a smile to seniors and adults with disabilities in Vanier and across Ottawa.

Some of our volunteers had a chance to have a look at our volunteer recruitment brochure before heading out on their deliveries. Thanks Jim, Chris, Sarah, Samantha and Bruce for considering passing these along to someone you think might be interested in joining the team. Feel free to contact us if you would like some brochures to distribute within your own network.

  • Jim Naida

To better serve our francophone clients in the Vanier area, our organization is actively seeking French-speaking volunteers. As of January 2019, approximately 23% of our active volunteers are bilingual.  If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please contact Jill, Manager of Volunteer Services, at You can also reach Jill or Jena by telephone at 613-233-2424.

Meals on Wheels also welcomes any opportunities to come and speak to groups about our service and volunteer opportunities.  If you would like Meals on Wheels to give a presentation to your group we’d love to hear from you.

We welcome feedback! If there are ever any comments or suggestions for us, please let us know by calling our office at 613-233-2424 or emailing

For our volunteers on delivery:

Did you know that we have a speaker’s bureau? If you would like to be trained on giving presentations in the community let us know.  We will provide you with all the material you need to help you be a great ambassador for Meals on Wheels in the community.

To help you serve our clients better here are a few helpful phrases in French:

  • I am a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. /Je suis un/une bénévole de la Popote roulante.
  • Here is your lunch for today. /Voici votre diner pour aujourd’hui.
  • Where should I place your meal? /Où voulez-vous que je dépose votre repas?
  • Would you like help with your containers? /Est-ce que vous voulez de l’aide à ouvrir les contenants?
  • Have a good day!/Bonne journée!
  • Please call the office. /Veuillez appeler le bureau.

Do you have any other suggestions?