Frailty, due to advanced age and disability, can affect people’s capacity to leave their homes. Meals on Wheels Volunteers deliver a nutritious meal, social interaction, and a friendly check-up on their clients’ well-being, playing a key role in making it possible for people to maintain their independence and stay at home where they are happiest.
Given an older Australian can receive Meals on Wheels for a whole year for about the same cost as just one day in hospital or one week in residential aged care, it is far more cost effective for those in need to engage at-home support programmes like Meals on Wheels.
Newcastle Meals on Wheels delivers to more than 1,000 vulnerable Novocastrians using an “army” of dedicated volunteers. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meals On Wheels faced new challenges and quickly adapted their service delivery. Complications included the temporary reduction in the number of long-term volunteers that were available at a time when there was a significant increase in the number of vulnerable people requiring support at home.
During these difficult times, Port Waratah partnered with four local Meals On Wheels branches, which enabled the Meals on Wheels team to adapt its service delivery method and replace essential equipment to ensure the service could continue uninterrupted. The new equipment included new refrigeration equipment and cool rooms at the local Newcastle branches, increasing long-term meal capacity for the service going forward.
Damien Isaacs, General Manager, Newcastle Meals on Wheels said, “We would like to express our deepest gratitude for Port Waratah’s funding. We feel privileged to be recognised in the community as a valuable service provider to the vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our community, at a time when they needed us most.”