FERGUS – A regular community lunch aimed at people who might fall through the cracks, has renamed itself during the pandemic, and has brought on local partners to increase its reach.
The Women’s Community Lunch, a weekly program at the St. James Anglican Church on Queen Street in Fergus, is still feeding seniors and those recovering from surgery, and is now calling itself Meals to Go.
For the past six years it has been catered by Peter Skoggard and organized by volunteer coordinator Cathy Sweeney and staff organizer Luisa Parish.
But with the need almost tripling since lockdown measures have been put in place, Reverend Ann Turner, Regional Dean, Greater Wellington, together with Rev. Corey Parish, Rev. John Vanderstoop and Angela Mullins, created a united committee, and renamed the program Centre Wellington Meals To Go to conform with physical distancing regulations.
As the task of catering for 80 or more people each day was far too much for one person, Chris Jess of The Food School and Reesa Lent of the old Desert Rose Cafe in Elora, joined Skoggard, each taking on a day of meal preparation.
“To me it is engaging to have an opportunity to offer something in a meaningful way, and is actually a pick-up on the stress we are going through,” said Skoggard.
To cover Tuesdays and Thursdays the group partnered with The Red Door and The Brew House in Fergus.
“We call it a double blessing,” says Turner, “as we are supporting area restaurants and continuing to supply food to those who are vulnerable and dealing with food insecurity.”
The lunches were originally intended to try to resolve food insecurity and social isolation.
These problems still exist with the pandemic and by choosing to deliver the meals, not only is the group providing the necessary nutrition for those who cannot prepare food for themselves, but they are also staying connected to folks who might fall through the cracks if they cannot regularly be in touch.
Many people do not realize that elderly people who are discharged from hospitals for ailments other than the virus are frequently unable to care for themselves.
So until the physical distancing regulations change, “Meals To Go” will provide them with food.
Meals include a variety of pastas, chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, quiche, chicken wraps, squash, minestrone or beet soups, and salad and are available to anyone in need of a nutritious meal.
Desserts are included with Monday and Wednesday lunches, and the team also provides Friday dinners.
The cost is supported by generous community donations, the Fergus/Elora Rotarians, The Bridge (Christian Reform Church), and Edge Realty.
There has also been assistance from Ian MacRae, Councillor Ward 1, and the Anglican Bishop Susan Bell and the Diocese of Niagara.
Added to this, support of the Board of Central Pentecostal Church.
For more information, contact Ann Turner at 226-821-4461 or email email@example.com.