Although there’s hope the trend has started to reverse, a declining population here in Fort Frances—and right across Rainy River District—has had widespread implications.
Certainly one impact of having fewer people around is a drop in volunteers. For instance, many service clubs that used to flourish here have folded, with those remaining often having to rely on the same people to stage events and other fundraisers.
Many community festivals, particularly long-running ones, similarly are suffering from “volunteer burnout.”
Add in fewer and/or smaller church congregations, typically sources of volunteers for various charities and other service work, and it’s clear the problem is a challenging one to overcome.
One such program that’s been hindered by a volunteer shortage for some time is “Meals on Wheels”—a service that brings meals to local seniors and others unable to cook for themselves since its inception more than 45 years ago.
Not only does it provide nutritious meals to recipients, but those who deliver them may well be the only people they see all day. It also helps to keep seniors in their own homes longer, rather than having to move into long-term care or assisted living facilities.
A lack of volunteers limits the number of people who can benefit from this service in the short-term—and even may result in its ultimate demise if things don’t change.
Hopefully, local businesses and organizations, as well as residents (including high school students), step forward to keep this worthy program running here.