A group of dedicated locals gathered at Cooma’s Werri-Nina Centre to celebrate Meals on Wheels Week, paying tribute to past and present volunteers who have kept this vital service running.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council facilitates the Meals on Wheels service and through the help of its volunteers, delivers meals to almost 60 clients each week.
Council’s Meals on Wheels coordinator, Debbie Sewell, joined general manager Joe Vescio, director of corporate and community services Peter Cannizzaro, and local volunteers on Monday to recognise the important role the service plays in the Snowy Monaro.
Thousands of meals have been delivered and hundreds of friendships created since Meals on Wheels began in Cooma in 1969. In the 48 years since, the service has provided more than just a meal to its clients.
The volunteers offer a friendly face and support for locals at risk of social isolation.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council administrator Dean Lynch thanked past and present Meals on Wheels volunteers for their ongoing efforts.
“This is a wonderful service that does so much good in our community,” Mr Lynch said.
“We are fortunate to have excellent staff who coordinate the service and fantastic volunteers who help deliver the meals.
“Meals on Wheels Week is a great opportunity for us to thank someone we know who is part of this service.”
Ugo and Rosina Patat have dedicated 15 years to Meals on Wheels, helping deliver nutritious meals to hundreds of Cooma residents.
“We love being part of Meals on Wheels and being able to help people. It’s very rewarding,” Rosina said.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the delivery of the first meal from Town Hall in Sydney in 1957, with Wednesday, August 30, coined National Meals on Wheels Day.
From its inception over 60 years ago, Meals on Wheels has grown to become a driving force of care in the community.
In the course of a year, over 14.8 million meals are delivered by more than 78,700 volunteers to about 53,000 recipients Australia wide in cities, regional and rural areas.
Of these, about 4.5 million meals are delivered by 35,000 volunteers in NSW each year.
As well as a hot meal, volunteers offer a friendly face and support for people at risk of social isolation and provide an important community connection
Meals on Wheels continues to deliver “more than just a meal” from the Town Hall to Bourke in the west, Tweed in the north and the Riverina in the south.