Today 31 August is National Meals on Wheels Day – a day to recognise the work of this most community driven of community initiatives and to thank the 75 000 volunteers across Australia who make it happen. This year the theme is Meals on Wheels is “More than Just a Meal” and that certainly is appropriate because Meals on Wheels is really three services in one and it deserves one heck a big wrap.
National Meals on Wheels Day falls on the last Wednesday of August and today like every other day, volunteers will knock on 37,000 doors and deliver a meal and just as importantly check that customers are safe and well. The volunteers are part of a network spread over 600 metropolitan, regional and rural branch community networks who prepare and delivered over 9 million meals annually to more than 120,000 Australians.
Senior.au sums up the impact of Meals on Wheels through the words of Australian Meals on Wheels Association (AMOWA) President, Mr Nelson Mathews:
“Our amazing and inspiring volunteers don’t just prepare and/or deliver meals,” said Mr Mathews. “They nourish, strengthen and care for communities by delivering delicious and nutritious ready-to-eat meals, providing important social contact to people who may be isolated and lonely, as well as monitoring the physical and psychological well being of those most vulnerable.”
“They also build strong relationships with clients and their volunteer teams at their local MoW service or branch and research shows this is good for volunteers, with identifiable benefits in their own wellbeing”.
“Keeping people out of hospital and residential care, helping them remain independent in their own homes, not only means our volunteers are helping save tax dollars, they are helping many remain in contact with their local community, sharing knowledge, stories and of course wisdom.”
So thanks a bunch Meals on Wheels volunteers and staff for assisting Australians for over 63 years. If I could give all 75 000 of you a bunch of flowers, I would. That’s I have gone for a botanical bunch thank you card all wrapped up with a botanical green card. And by the way…. Meals on Wheels is always looking for new volunteers to contribute just a few hours per week…