The new Wheels-to-Meals program at Wadena Hospital brings together longterm-care patients, Weneeda Park Lodge residents, Mallard Diversified Industries clients and community volunteers along with daycare and school children to share lunch, music, exercises and activities.
Lillian Vellacott focuses on carding wool, a task she has not done in years, with wool-carders brought from the Wadena Museum.
“Both Bonnie Scrimbitt and Cynthia Gutek were involved with the idea in the beginning stages,” says Mary Rose Kulyk, volunteer co-ordinator. “Cynthia is our support as the program continues to run.”
While Kulyk was able to obtain funding through a government grant, leading the program are local youths Morgan Smale, Sydney Melnyk and Tomas Smale.
“The interaction among residents as a result of the program has improved their socialization skills, nutrition and overall well-being,” said Kulyk.
Activities have included butter-making, playing cards and bingo, reading stories, and watching movies – with popcorn, of course.
Dick Heppner tries his hand at churning cream into butter, with assistance from Josette Rothlander, as Nettie Dawe looks on.
Louise Yakowec and Josette Rothlander brought in some items from the Wadena and District Museum that would be familiar to local seniors, including a butter churn and some hand tools. While the guests churned butter and carded wool, Yakowec set up her spinning wheel and started spinning raw wool into yarn while Rothlander passed around items and helped with the butter churn.
The Wheels-to-Meals program has been running since April and will continue through fall and winter.
By Charlene Wirtz and Sydney Melnyk