United Way announces funding for seniors’ grocery and meal programs

Photo by Leonie Wise.

The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) received $65,000 from the $9 million that the federal government is investing into support for vulnerable seniors whose lifestyles have been affected by COVID-19.

 The New Horizons for Seniors Program, or NHSP, is given by Employment Social Development Canada and will be distributed through registered charitable organizations in KFL&A.

A range of services invented to promote senior inclusion and decrease the affects of isolation will be among the services provided by this funding and will be available to low-income Canadians who are 55 and older.

Three agencies in the KFL&A area have been selected to receive funds.

“We distributed funding based on what we thought the immediate needs of the senior community were,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO of the United Way KFL&A. “And those needs were food.”

The first one is Victorian Order of Nurses of Napanee and they will be offering support by providing vouchers and cards for groceries, delivery of hot or frozen meals, and grocery delivery for those in need.

The second agency is Rural Frontenac Community Services in North Frontenac and they will be working to offset the costs of their existing Meals on Wheels service to meet increased demand, moving from two delivery days a week to three.

Finally, Kingston Community Health Centre is enacting a Seniors Food Box Service based off of the existing Good Food Box model. Vulnerable seniors are able to order a food box that contains 15 healthy food items and staple pantry items on a bi-weekly basis for free.

Funding will also be allocated to helping seniors feel less alone during social distancing. These services include weekly visits from staff at Independent Living, phone calls from the Seniors Association to assist seniors with navigating the services, and funding for Resolve Counselling to provide over-the-phone counselling for seniors feeling lonely.

In order to apply for these services, seniors can visit each of the agencies’ listed websites or call the Seniors Association.

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