Coffs Coast Meals on Wheels keeps rolling

Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers Debbie, Bronwyn Webber (Service Manager), Margaret Hoschke (President), David Hough (Treasurer), Renee Golden, Heather Masia, Sheila Dunn and Michelle Smith.

 

DESPITE the current uncertainties it’s good to know some wheels just keep on turning.

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Though the pandemic initially impacted volunteer numbers, because many are in vulnerable groups themselves, Meals on Wheels simply adapted and kept going.

Bronwyn Webber, Service Manager for Coffs Coast Meals on Wheels said, “Our volunteers and Committee members have worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 period, with client numbers going right up in the beginning when people were not able to leave their homes.

“There were a lot of frightened people in our community early on when we didn’t know what was going to happen.

“At the start of the pandemic around six volunteers had to leave for health reasons, but we were lucky to have had an outpouring of help from others, some of whom have stayed on,” she said.

“Our volunteers still went in daily to those who needed a hot meal, or we changed it to weekly deliveries for others who can manage their own meals.”

Bronwyn said that during that time they were averaging 125 meals per day.

“Things are coming back to normal now with meals at around 110 per day.”

When David Hough, Treasurer of the group was asked by News Of The Area why he volunteers his time, he pointed to a verse by Helen Steiner Rice which is painted on the wall of the Meals on Wheels office.

‘Time is not measured by the years that we live. But by the deeds that we do and the joys that we give.’

“I like making others happy and it gives me something to look forward to – we’re paid in smiles and gratitude,” said David.

“But there’s also a more serious side because if someone who’s expecting us doesn’t open the door, we can call someone to follow up.”

Vulnerable clients, which include the frail elderly and younger people with disabilities, were helped out in other ways during the initial panic.

“We want to send a big thanks to Woolworths for donating lots of toilet paper and to the makers of Glen 20 for donating their product,” Bronwyn said.

She said people may not be aware how simple the process of applying for assistance from Meals on Wheels is.

“We don’t ask a lot of intrusive questions.”

The service is available for those referred through government agencies and also to those wishing to purchase retail meals.

“We have over 80 meal choices as well as soup and sweets,” Bronwyn said.

“We also have gift vouchers, so if you need help with meals or know of anyone who needs help, give our office a ring on 66 483 600.”

 

By Monika KOZLOVSKIS

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