Watch out for Mayors on Wheels!

TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - Today Mayors in over 40 towns and cities in Ontario will for the 2nd year participate in the International Mayor's For Meals 2010 Campaign. March is Meals on Wheels(R) awareness month - an opportunity to help raise awareness and funding for local programs and to recruit volunteers. Meals on Wheels(R) volunteers are crucial in the delivery of nutritious meals to house-bound seniors and persons with disabilities or chronic health conditions.

"Last year was a huge success. Mayors were thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver a meal and chat with some of their citizens who are confined to their homes. Meals on Wheels is really a three-in-one service - it's a nutritional meal, a security check and a friendly visit. Agencies and their volunteers have a huge impact locally and we thank the Mayors of Ontario for recognizing that," said Susan Thorning, CEO of the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA), the provincial association that represents Meals on Wheels(R) programs across Ontario.

"We are delighted to see so many Ontario Mayors taking part in the Mayors for Meals campaign. Access to good nutrition is one of the essential elements to seniors and persons with disabilities maintaining their independence," noted Claude Tremblay, OCSA's President.

In 2006, Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) introduced a new component of the 'March for Meals' campaign called Mayors for Meals. On a designated day in March, mayors from across the US deliver meals with their local Senior Nutrition Program in their community.

                     Did you know Meals on Wheels(R)...

    -   is a community support service in over 200 Ontario communities that
        delivers nutritious meals to homebound individuals. It is not only a
        nutritional meal, but a safety check as well as a friendly visitor
        for that isolated individual.

    -   programs receive funding from the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care
        through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across Ontario.
        In addition to funding support from the LHINs, local fundraising
        efforts by community support service agencies help cover the costs of
        program delivery. There is also a co-payment from clients for the
        costs of the food.

    -   has thousands of committed, well-trained volunteers making deliveries
        in Ontario every year

    -   in Ontario provides over 2,000,000 meals each year

The History of Meals on Wheels(R) in Ontario

Meals On Wheels(R) first began in Britain in 1939. During World War II, the Women's Volunteer Service for Civil Defense prepared and delivered meals to the many people left homeless after the bombings with no way to prepare food.

Canada's first Meals on Wheels program began delivering nutritious meals to homebound people in Brampton, Ontario in 1963. It was supported by the local Soroptimist Club, then by the auxiliary at Peel Memorial Hospital. The town of Brantford would follow in 1964, organized by the Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire and Brantford's Red Cross. St Christopher House in Toronto jumped on board soon after and so grew the Meals on Wheels network in Ontario which exists today.

Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA)

OCSA is a provincial association that supports, promotes and represents the common goal of its members, which are providers of community based not-for-profit health and social services, so that they are better able to support people to live at home in their own communities. As well, OCSA represents the needs and issues of Meals on Wheels(R) providers in Ontario and holds the licensing rights for Meals on Wheels(R) in Canada.

To find a Meals on Wheels(R) program in an Ontario community, go to


For further information: For further information: Lori Holloway Payne, Director, Communications, Marketing & Strategy, OCSA, Tel: (416) 256-3010 Ext. 242, Cell: (416) 459-9224,

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