Meals on Wheels archives

Fifty years ago today, the Canadian Red Cross established the first Meals on Wheels program in Canada.

The program started in Brantford Ontario after resident Elsie Matthews approached the Red Cross with the idea to replicate a unique program she saw while travelling in England. The idea was to deliver meals to seniors in their homes, and Elsie decided her community could benefit from the same program. The local Red Cross offered the use of the branch’s kitchen and station wagon to establish the program in Brantford.

Meals on Wheels benefits people who do not have access to regular nutritious meals by providing them with meals delivered to their home. This service can be an invaluable resource for people looking to maintain their independence. For many clients, it is not just the nutritious meals they enjoy but also the interaction with the volunteers who deliver them.

In its inaugural year, meals were delivered to 12 clients per week at a cost of $0.50 each. Now, more than 34,250 meals are delivered by Red Cross volunteers throughout Ontario alone.

Find out more about Red Cross community health services in Ontario.