MOW volunteers like Barry Thomson and Jim Maas (centre) give their time to assist pensioners like Elsie and Frank Young who rely on this service.
MOW volunteers like Barry Thomson and Jim Maas (centre) give their time to assist pensioners like Elsie and Frank Young who rely on this service. Inga Williams

Volunteers thanked for big effort

ON August 29, Meals on Wheels' 80, 000 volunteers will receive some hard-earned recognition for the 1.4 million meals they delivered over the course of the year.

The annual National Meals on Wheels Day, 'More Than Just A Meal', celebrates the enormous community contribution the organisation's volunteers make and offers the more than 50,000 meal recipients the chance to thank those behind this vital service.

The Kingscliff branch of Meals on Wheels distributes over 350 meals each week and delivers food from Pottsville to Tweed Heads South.

Kingscliff branch manager Chris Watt said the organisation relied heavily on its volunteers and could not exist without them.

Mr Watt said the organisation not only focused on meal delivery but also provided much-needed support which helped prevent social isolation.

The economic value of the nation-wide service is estimated to be in excess of $350 million per year.

Although, the recipients pay for the meal and the organisation receives some government assistance, it's the free delivery service provided by its volunteers that allows the organisation to keep its costs down and supply affordable meals to clients.

Australian Meals on Wheels Association president Ron Welsh said "National Meals on Wheels Day is a significant event for Meals on Wheels across the country.

"It is an opportunity to highlight the amazing contribution that is made to the community by over 700 Meals on Wheels services and their volunteers across Australia.

"Not only do Meals on Wheels volunteers provide a nutritious meal to our valued clients but they also provide an important community connection through calling at homes each day to provide a cheery welcome, daily contact and monitor their well-being.

"The Meals on Wheels service is truly 'more than just a meal'."



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