The continuing dedicated efforts of Meals on Wheels SA volunteers is celebrated on National Meals on Wheels Day, Wednesday, August 29.
The inspiring South Australian branch teams help make up Meals on Wheels’ 76,000 strong volunteer network, which is spread across 600 grass roots organisations that have nourished their local communities for 65 years.
“You get more than just a meal from Meals on Wheels,” Australian Meals on Wheels Association (AMOWA) president and CEO of Meals on Wheels SA Sharyn Broer said.
“Our fantastic volunteers take the time to say hello and make sure you’re okay. A hearty meal warms the tummy, but a simple chat can warm the soul.”
Support from local Meals on Wheels services makes a real difference in improving health outcomes while reducing health and aged care costs. As well as delivering tasty and nourishing meals that are designed to meet the nutritional needs of older people, Meals on Wheels volunteers bring a daily dose of companionship and human connection, and peace of mind for clients and their families.
Today, and every week day, volunteers will help to produce, prepare, select and pack more than 35,000 meals. Together, Australian Meals on Wheels volunteers make around 10 million house calls each year, making sure that clients are safe and well and brightening the day for more than 120,000 people who need a little bit of support.
“Our amazing and inspiring volunteers are the backbone of Meals on Wheels,” Mrs Broer said.
“They form part of a caring community that is one of the most gratifying volunteer programs in the world. Our production kitchens are fun and friendly places to work, where you can get to know other people from the local area, share skills and expertise and learn new ones.”
Victor Harbor Meals on Wheels is one production kitchen which is well run and services those in need in the local community.
Volunteer co-ordinator and client co-ordinator Margaret Kneebone said there was good camaraderie in the kitchen and with the delivery teams.
“We have six in the kitchen every day, five days a week and we have approximately 60 volunteers, including drivers. We prepare 120 meals per day from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and people we provide meals for cannot cook for themselves,” Margaret said.
“All the meals are fresh from the kitchen each day and a menu goes out every Monday so they can select what they would like for the week. It is different each day with soup, main course and sweets.”
Margaret said there was a lot of people on their own and need this assistance.
“Some have very little family support and we may be the only people they see all day. We are delivering more than meals,” she said.
If you wish to volunteer please call 1800 854 453 or visit www.mealsonwheelssa.org.au