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Spotlight: Affordable Hand-Made Meals Keep Seniors Healthy at Home

With a heart full of compassion, Margaret Trainor is committed to helping seniors eat nutritious food to maintain their independence.
crab cakes

Margaret Trainor has a passion for providing seniors with quality home cooked food through her business, Meals To Go Catering For Seniors. Delivered hot and fresh, Margaret’s meals are made with nourishing, whole ingredients. Her motto: keeping seniors healthy and in their homes one meal at a time.

While seniors are her main focus, she has also delivered meals to new mothers and people who are recovering from operations. “I started Meals To Go twelve years ago. I was already doing this work through Harmony House Retirement Home. People would ask me if I could feed their parents.” Margaret owned and ran Harmony House, a small retirement home in the south end of the city for twenty-six years. Trained as a Gerontological Nurse, feeding her clients excellent meals full of proper nutrition was always a priority.

After moving on from Harmony House twelve years ago, Margaret started Meals To Go. She is very passionate about her role. “I’m doing this to keep people out of care facilities, to keep seniors in their homes. Seniors shouldn’t have to give their pets away to the humane society because they can’t cook for themselves and have to go into care. I think people do better at home with their pictures, with their treasures. I’ve been in senior care for forty-five years, so I really understand how well people do with good food in their own home.”

Margaret has developed a four-week menu rotation. Each day customers have a choice between two soups and two mains. The meal also comes with a dinner roll, a salad, a vegetable side, and a dessert. Including delivery and taxes, the price is $20 per meal – very economical. Hearty options like beef with mashed potatoes and winter vegetable soup are typical options on the menu rotation.

Some seniors choose to make two meals out of the daily portion – soup, salad, and a roll for lunch and the main with dessert for supper. Talking about her menu, Margaret states, “I would not feed something to someone that I wouldn’t eat, and I have pretty high standards. I’m pretty picky.”

Margaret’s high standards lead her to high quality ingredients. She uses produce purchased mostly at the Guelph Farmer’s Market. She also buys from local grocery stores. She uses fresh, top quality ingredients keeping what’s in season in mind. Her meals are made from scratch, right down to the BBQ sauce.

Clients are given menus and they tick off their choices for the week, whether it’s one day or Monday through Friday. “People can email me or phone me up to the day before.” There is no obligation to order a certain number of meals. She can also accommodate those who are diabetic, gluten-free, dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan.

“If I can make a difference and keep people at home, that is what I want to do. I’ve said this a thousand times, but if I won the lottery, I’d just do this even better.”

Margaret grew up in Jackson’s Point on Lake Simcoe. Her family is from Ireland; she is a first generation Canadian. Growing up, her mother was very particular about eating good food. “I didn’t even eat a hamburger until I was nineteen!” she laughs. This healthy ethic is deeply ingrained in her and informs the work that she does.

Meals to Go services Guelph and the surrounding area. “I love Guelph– it is progressive, it’s organic, it’s hippie - everything that is me is Guelph and it’s why I came here. I just love this city.” Margaret is a very active volunteer and a long term Rotarian. She has been involved with the slow food movement and is the creator of the Purple for Polio Gardens Project.

To order meals from Margaret, get in touch with her via her Facebook page.

This Content is made possible by our Sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.