National Meals On Wheels Day Recognises Outstanding Volunteer Force
National Meals On Wheels Day Recognises Outstanding Volunteer Force And Their Resilience During The Covid-19 Pandemic
On the 26th of August, National Meals on Wheels Day will recognise its dedicated volunteer workforce who stepped up to help protect the health and wellbeing of vulnerable Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the first COVID diagnoses came to light, many Meals on Wheels volunteers aged 70 and over were recommended to self-isolate for their own safety, while younger volunteers stood up to support their communities.
Meals on Wheels NSW CEO, Les MacDonald says “National Meals on Wheels day recognises the outstanding contribution of our wonderful volunteers, who ensure older Australians remain nourished and safe at home every day. It has been an uncertain last 12 months, with bushfire devastation and now COVID-19. We offer gratitude and thanks to all our 35,000 volunteers in NSW, and the growing band of individuals and organisations that have come on board who continue to support us. Their efforts have made us stronger and more focussed than ever, and today we celebrate their contribution to our service”.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government provided vital additional funding which allowed Meals on Wheels services to continue delivering nutritious meals to an increased number of vulnerable members of the community.
“We are so thankful to the Government for supporting us during this uncertain time through the increase in funding,” Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels Manager, Alan Russell said.
“They recognised and reinforced the essential role our service plays in ensuring food security for people in our community,” Mr Russell said.
As part of the annual celebration, Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels will welcome our Mayor and Councillors on a meal delivery run, to see firsthand, the difference Meals on Wheels makes every day.
“The Councillors will meet our volunteers at the Batemans Bay Community Centre. They can see the packing process before they travel with the volunteers to deliver meals to the homes of our clients. The Mayor will meet each group on their return to the Community Centre. We hope that the Mayor will present each volunteer with a small gift from Australia Meals on Wheels and BP Australia as a thank you,” Mr Russell said.
“These gift vouchers are part of a $50,000 thank you gift from BP Australia to volunteers right across the country As a way of honouring our wonderful volunteers.”
Meals on Wheels Australia President, Sharyn Broer says Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels and their volunteers have demonstrated immense resilience through the pandemic, however, the ongoing sustainability of the service is so important.
Recently the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck MP acknowledged the inequitable distribution of funding and advised Meals on Wheels Australia of an upcoming funding review for meal service providers, within the next 12 months.
“We are pleased the Government has recognised the problem, however, our concerns remain about the timing of the review and the impact this will have on services that are already struggling to remain financially viable,” Mrs Broer said.