Message from Marcus Staviss, President, Board of Directors

Meals on Wheels – A Vital Lifeline

You have heard a lot from us over the past few months about our Meals on Wheels program. We’ve shared the urgent and growing need for a secure source of culturally appropriate food for seniors, including Holocaust survivors, living in poverty right in our community.

Prior to the pandemic, we offered meals on wheels alongside our many recreation, health and wellness programs. So, it was not new for us. But what was new was the dramatic growth in need. Hundreds of seniors who already did not have very much support were forced to face lockdowns; the loss of loved ones and social connections; an inability to get out for, or afford groceries; and no way to prepare their own meals without the help of others.

We’re extremely grateful for the incredible contributions by our funders, donors, members, staff and community in response to our pleas for financial and volunteer support. I am thrilled to share that from the beginning of 2022 to today, we have raised more than $1.2 million in grants, donations, sponsorships and ticket sales/donations from our recent Tribute Event – the funds required to maintain our free Meals on Wheels program for seniors and Holocaust survivors living in poverty until the end of March 2023. With this support, and hundreds of volunteer hours, we’ve been able to provide three meals per week to more than 620 seniors living in poverty. The generosity of our community and the passion, empathy and hard work, and dedication of our staff, led by our Executive Director Gail Gould as well as our volunteers, has allowed us to extend a lifeline to those in significant need. This is worth celebrating!

But the need doesn’t stop now. While your support is highly appreciated, after next month seniors in our community will once again face the dark prospect of going without food. To add to this, there are another 450 seniors on our waitlist who also need help now. We must continue our efforts to keep helping our seniors living in poverty who need us for the rest of 2023 and beyond.

Thank you, sincerely, to the many of you who have stepped up this year. I hope we can count on you again in the year ahead.

Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and safe New Year.

Marcus Staviss
President, Board of Directors
Bernard Betel Centre

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