FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Meals on Wheels?

Meals on Wheels was founded in 1968 by the Ottawa City Union of The King’s Daughters and Sons as Ottawa’s first Meals on Wheels program.


What are the goals of the Meals on Wheels program?

In addition to providing nutritious meals, this volunteer-based support service allows members of the community to remain in their home as an alternative to costly retirement or nursing residences. Daily visits from Meals on Wheels volunteers provide peace of mind and support to their loved ones and themselves.


Who is eligible to receive Meals on Wheels?

Individuals, who by receiving nutritional support are better able to maintain independence and well-being in their own homes, including:

  • Seniors
  • Adults who are chronically ill
  • Adults living with a disability
  • Adults convalescing from surgery or illness
  • Adults undergoing medical treatment

Is there a charge for Meals on Wheels?

Yes. As Meals on Wheels is a not-for-profit service, the cost is kept to a minimum. Hot meals cost $6.50 each (as of June 1st, 2017) and frozen meals from Apetito are $37.60 for a package of seven entrées, or five entrées and five soups or desserts. Apetito frozen entrées are $5.65 and frozen soups, desserts and breakfast snacks are $2.55. TimeSaver entrées are $7.10.


What forms of payment do you accept?

Payment may be made by cheque or money order payable to Meals on Wheels or by arranging for a pre-authorized payment plan. We also accept VISA, MasterCard, or cash if it is brought to our office.


How do I request Meals on Wheels?

Please call the Meals on Wheels office at 613-233-2424. Service can be requested by individuals, family members, friends or any health care personnel.


Do I have to get a hot meal everyday?

No, there is no minimum requirement. You can receive meals 1 to 6 days per week.


Are hot meals available on statutory holidays or weekends?

Hot Meals are not available on statutory holidays but are available on Easter Monday, Remembrance Day and Family Day. Saturday deliveries are also available. A special Christmas meal is available.


Can I have both hot meals and frozen meals?

Yes, you may choose to use both food programs. A staff member will be more than happy to help you customize a program to meet your needs.


Do I have to order frozen food each week?

No. Frozen food is ordered on a week-to-week basis. If you would like a frozen food package for the following week, you must submit your order by:
10:00 a.m. Tuesday for those in the west service area
8:00 a.m. Friday for those in the east service area.
If you would like weekly delivery but are unable to place an order each week, please contact our Client Coordinator to discuss alternate arrangements.


What if I have dietary restrictions?

It is important that you let us know if you have dietary restrictions, so that we can help you meet those needs. No added salt and diabetic diets are available in the hot meal program. The frozen meal program offers a tempting array of main dishes, soups and desserts and clients can select their own special diet menu such as: vegetarian, pureed, minced, No Added Salt, and diabetic. Please contact us if you require information about gluten-free meals.


Where are the meals prepared?

The hot meals are prepared fresh by numerous kitchens throughout the city and are overseen by licensed dietitians. The hot meal suppliers are:

  • Centre d’acceuil Champlain
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • The Glebe Centre
  • The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre
  • Garry J. Armstrong Long Term Care Centre
  • Ottawa Hospital – Riverside Campus
  • Riverpark Place
  • St. Patrick’s Home

The frozen meals are prepared by Apetito, a frozen food supplier located in Southern Ontario, and TimeSaver Foods, a local supplier.


Who delivers the meals?

Our trained volunteers are individuals from your community. They not only deliver meals, but also provide a regular social contact while monitoring the well-being of the clients.


When are the meals delivered?

Hot meals are delivered around the noon hour, Monday through Saturdays.

Frozen meals are delivered Tuesday afternoon if you live west of the Rideau Canal and Friday morning if you live east of the Rideau Canal (including Hog’s Back and Meadowlands east of Fisher Avenue).


What if there is nobody home for the meal delivery?

To ensure the clients’ safety and security, if a client does not answer their door, volunteers have been instructed to contact the Meals on Wheels office who will try and reach the client by phone. If the client cannot be reached by phone, the staff will telephone the designated emergency contact for that client. Meals are given away if no alternate arrangement has been made.


Can a hot meal be cancelled for a specific day?

Yes, a hot meal may be cancelled (for example, if the client has an appointment over the noon hour) by calling 613-233-2424. No fee will be charged for a meal that is cancelled before 9:00 a.m. the day of delivery.

Clients may also make arrangements with the office to leave their meal with a neighbour on days they will not be home due to appointments.


How do I change my meal delivery order?

Please contact the office, they will be happy to review your requirements and make appropriate changes.


Are volunteers needed?

Volunteers are welcome and always needed! Would you or someone you know like to become a volunteer? Training is provided. Please see the Volunteers section for more details.


How is Meals on Wheels funded?

Financial Support comes from:

  • Individual donations
  • Service clubs, community and church groups
  • Businesses
  • Champlain Local Health Integration Network
  • City of Ottawa
  • Bequests
  • In memoriam

Meals on Wheels is a registered charitable organization. Income Tax receipts are issued for charitable donations. Charitable #11898 1778 RR0001.

Did you know?

The first Meals on Wheels newsletter was published in 1984.