HUGE thanks are given to the hundreds of volunteers across South Gippsland Shire who cumulatively deliver approximately 350 meals each week through Council’s Meals on Wheels service, which is critical in supporting many frail and aged citizens to maintain their independence in their own homes.
The volunteers are drawn from all parts of the community and include school children, young mums, church groups, service club members, staff from local businesses and retirees.
Council’s Aged and Disability Coordinator Louise Brydon explained, “It is an extremely important service in our community that keeps people connected and nutritionally supported.
“The three course meals are prepared to meet the special dietary needs of our clients and where possible, their likes and dislikes.
“After an initial eligibility assessment is carried out, the Meals on Wheels service is available to frail, aged people, people with a disability and their carers, and those who are nutritionally at risk.
Ms Bryson continued, “Often this is the only contact the client has for the day and it is an occasion they look forward to.
“It is also an opportunity to assist in monitoring the health and well being of each client on a regular basis.”
Hot meals are delivered daily on Mondays to Fridays while weekend meals are supplied cold and delivered on the Friday.
Food options include soup, main hot meal, salads, puddings, fresh fruit and/or fruit juices.
Meals recipients in township areas of Foster, Toora and Meeniyan all have hot meal deliveries, while people in other areas receive delivery – by various means – of a week’s worth of frozen meals for reheating.
To mark National Meals on Wheels Week, Mayor Cr Jim Fawcett and Cr Mimmie Jackson delivered Meals on Wheels together last Wednesday in Leongatha.
Anyone interested in volunteering a few hours on a regular basis to deliver meals is asked to contact Council’s Community Programs Team Leaders, either Virginia Hall on 5662 9363 or Bernadette Hulls on 5662 9359.
Ms Hulls advised that the service is “desperate” for volunteers to assist with meals delivery in Foster.
“Whether you can help one week a month or one week every six months, or many months excepting winter, please give us a call,” she urged.