Multiple benefits

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Deniliquin Meals on Wheels has been providing meals and friendship to the elderly and less mobile residents of the community for more than 50 years.

The local service employs one part-time coordinator and is managed by a committee of five.

There are about 80 registered volunteers who help deliver a weekly meal service for 40 people.

The inspiring team at Deniliquin Meals on Wheels helps make up Meals on Wheels’ 76,000 strong volunteer network, which is spread across 600 grass roots organisations that have nourished their local communities for 65 years.

‘‘You get more than just a meal from Meals on Wheels,’’ said Australian Meals on Wheels Association president Sharyn Broer.

‘‘Our fantastic volunteers take the time to say hello and make sure you’re okay. A hearty meal warms the tummy, but a simple chat can warm the soul.’’

Support from local Meals on Wheels services makes a real difference in improving health outcomes while reducing health and aged care costs.

As well as delivering tasty and nourishing meals that are designed to meet the nutritional needs of older people, Meals on Wheels volunteers bring a daily dose of companionship and human connection, and peace of mind for clients and their families.

Meals are prepared in the kitchen at Kurrajong Warratah in Napier St, Deniliquin, where the Meals on Wheels office is also located.

Kurrajong Warratah clients assist in making their meals, and clients also help deliver the meals each Thursday and every second Friday.

Other volunteers deliver meals on a rostered basis.

‘‘Volunteers only need to give up one hour, once a month as a minimum to help out,’’ Deniliquin Meals on Wheels coordinator Michelle Hand-Beehag said.

‘‘We’d love to get more young people involved. My own introduction to the service was with my grandparents during the school holidays, and my children love doing it with me in their holidays.

‘‘The kids really enjoy it, and the clients of the service do too.’’

If you wish to volunteer or know someone who may need Meals on Wheels, contact Mrs Hand-Beehag on 58817310 or 0408219168 between 9.30am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected].