A Happy Valley-Goose Bay woman is hoping to see a seniors' meal program get off the ground sometime this year.
Judy Voisey, former owner and operator of Voisey’s Bakery in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, firmly believes there's a need for a program that delivers nutritious, affordable meals, for those who need them.
“Food insecurity is really high for seniors here,” said Voisey. “A lot of them are on fixed incomes. Many of them are living alone or have transitioned into declined health. It’s very challenging for them to cook for themselves.”
Voisey knows from experience there is a need for a program in Goose Bay like Meals on Wheels. Two years ago, while she still operated Voisey’s Bakery, she tried a non-profit program where she delivered $10 meals to seniors.
The program was a hit, with 30 to 40 people making use of the delivery service. But it only lasted nine months, due to the amount of work and resources the program required for the business to operate.
“When we got really into it, we identified that it was more work than what we could do as a company,” said Voisey.
“A business just cannot put all of its time into non-profit stuff. So, I was very sad to give that portion of it up. By the end of it, we were turning people away.”
Voisey has been looking for people and non-profit organizations in Happy Valley-Goose Bay who may be willing to restart the program. Based on the work involved, she believes an agency, rather than individuals, would be needed to operate a food delivery service.
“You would have to have staff to do this work, you would need a volunteer driver, or a driver covered under insurance in order to get it to work.
“So, there is a cost associated with it.”
Voisey herself says she wouldn’t be able to prepare meals like she did before, but she's willing to help get a new meal delivery service off the ground. The first step is a needs assessment in the community.
Voisey has put feelers out on Facebook but has received little interest to date. She tried to organize a community meeting with interested people earlier this summer but only one person showed up. The businesswoman isn’t giving up on the idea though and is hoping to gather more people later in the summer or in the fall.