Red Cross discontinuing meal service for seniors in parts of N.B.
Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:57PM ADT
A meal service for seniors run by the Red Cross is being discontinued in some parts of New Brunswick.
“Gradually over a period of time we've noticed a decline in the volume in certain communities and particularly in these communities where we've not renewed,” says Bill Lawlor, spokesperons for the Red Cross.
Lawlor says the aid organization’s own aging volunteer base contributed to the decision to discontinue the provincially-sponsored Meals to Seniors program.
The New Brunswick Department of Social Development runs the program and hire regional organizations to carry out the service.
The service will be discontinued Sussex, Sackville, Greater Moncton, Richibucto and the Acadien Peninsula.
The Red Cross has had the contract to provide the Meals to Seniors program for more than 20 years. The organization gave the Department of Social Justice notice a year ago that they were not planning to renew the deal.
“Whether it's a high demand or a low demand, we have an aging population and I think we have to do due diligence and have to also work very closely to make sure we are providing that service,” says Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors.
Cassista is hoping the government can get on board to try and help the individuals who are using the service.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Department of Social Development spokesperson Fave MacLean said the department, “Understands how important programs such as Meals to Seniors and Meals on Wheels are to seniors and adults living with disabilities."
They add they have been working with organizations and have found replacements for the Red Cross in the affected areas.
The Red Cross will continue service in Edmunston and Grand Falls where there are about 130 clients. That contract runs until March 2019 and will be re-evaluated closer to the end of the deal.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.