Meals on Wheels is a name familiar to Australians and is at the heart of many communities. It represents helping hands, teamwork and looking out for each other.
From its inception nearly 60 years ago, Meals on Wheels has grown to become a driving force of care in the community. The delivery of nutritious and affordable meals, together with regular contact and social interaction contributes significantly towards the clients’ wellbeing and independence.
Across Western Australia Meals on Wheels has around 90 Service providers, throughout the Metropolitan, rural and remote regions. Each year in Western Australia close to 930,000 meals are provided to approximately 10,000 clients in their own homes and through dine-in services provided by Community Care Centres.
The majority of clients receiving a Meals on Wheels service are aged between 50 years to 90 plus, however meals on wheels also provides nutritious meals to younger people suffering from disabilities. Every weekday, a whole host of volunteers offer their time to help cook, and prepare, delicious, and healthy 3 course meals which include entrée, main and desert, while keeping in mind the special dietary requirements of many individuals. These meals are then delivered by volunteers directly to each client.
The changing face of Meals on Wheels reflects how the organisation is responding and adapting to the changing face of the community. While the tradition and values of Meals on Wheels remain true to it’s origins, there is a renewed focus on the attributes of a Meals on Wheels service being ‘more than just a meal’. It is the relationship between Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers that assist the client to feel connected and supported by their community, with the trust and rapport built with the client often being a catalyst for linking clients into other services they require to support their goal of remaining in their home. All of these attributes contribute positively to the clients sense of wellness.