Eating is essential for human life; however, food centered in the tradition of an individual brings warmness tied with memories. Many do not understand the importance of nutrition and it impacts on the human body. According to Statistics Canada, many seniors are at higher risk of going hungry. Adults in their later life are particularly vulnerable due to diminished appetite and impaired sense of taste, smell and touch. Also, for some, medication and diseases, mobility and vision impact their ability to select the right foods. While to many, financial constraints, eating alone and the lack of support to shop and prepare the meals contribute to their inability to eat healthy. COVID-19 has played a larger role in making it challenging for many seniors in the community to exercise healthy eating.
To be able to protect the vulnerable members in the community, GCAO created a grocery on wheels program that is designed to provide groceries from Ghanaian stores that is culturally centered to support seniors and families with extreme low-income whom COVID has had a detrimental challenge in their lives. This means the groceries were foods that were unique to the Ghanaian Culture.
Seniors and family members can request meals delivery or pick up at the grocery store by filling out the request form or by calling the program coordinator. Once the registration is accepted, applicants are able to receive groceries once in a month on Fridays and Saturdays by volunteers in the Ghanaian Community.
In the short time we have been running the program, we have noticed an incredible increase in demand for the support. We are beyond grateful for the support of Red Cross Canada for funding the program and the community volunteers who continue to provide weekly volunteer support to meet the needs of the seniors and families during these challenging times.