Meals On Wheels still open as Hawks Nest Community Hall upgrades begin

Meredyth Rae, Office Manager at Hawks Nest Meals On Wheels, is ready to welcome more volunteers.

AFTER months of delay, a big, blue fence appeared across the Hawks Nest Community Hall on Booner Street on Tuesday, 5 September.

Regular, registered users of the Meals on Wheels (MOW) service operating out of the Hall can still access the building via the main front entrance.

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The blue fence is the first practical move regarding the Hall’s rejuvenation, and will remain in place for several months – next comes the demolition of the ‘Old Library’ demountable building, and an eventual addition to the Hall to double its current size.

“Meals on Wheels will be getting a walk-in freezer, too,” Meredyth Rae, Office Manager at MOW told NOTA, welcoming the change from the existing setup that sees several fridges and freezers squeezed into one room of the Hall.

“This has been four years in the making, with the plan approved pre-COVID, and it is exciting that it is finally coming to fruition,” Ms Rae added.

“Our ultimate goal has always been to have a purpose-built facility at the Tea Gardens Industrial Estate, but these near-future changes at the Community Hall will certainly help.”

The Meals on Wheels service has only grown lately, with at least five volunteers in the kitchen, five days per week, and more than 20 volunteer drivers on the road making deliveries, covering all around Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Karuah, North Arm Cove, Bundabah, Pindimar and Bulahdelah.

The majority of MOW’s funding comes from very generous local fundraising, and they are always welcoming new volunteers.

“Our volunteers come for the camaraderie, a sense of giving back, with many lifelong friendships formed… and the fresh scones for morning tea are a favourite,” Ms Rae explained.

“They only have to give a few hours a week in the kitchen, and deliverers are usually out for two hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.”

There will be no change to Meals on Wheels’ schedule while the Hall upgrades are underway.

The western side of the Community Hall will remain usable until further notice.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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