The Albanese Government has launched a $2.2 million pilot program to provide more than 150,000 nutritious meals each year to older people in Whitehorse and Ballarat, Victoria, through the Meals on Wheels model.
Across both council areas, these new Meals on Wheels outlets are expected to provide more than 150,000 meals annually, working closely with local volunteers to deliver this vital service.
Following the decision by Whitehorse and Ballarat local councils to cease delivering Meals on Wheels from 1 July 2023, Newcastle and Queensland Meals on Wheels have been engaged to stand up new Meals on Wheels outlets in these council areas.
Meals on Wheels offer a diverse range of healthy meals to give older people choice and control over what they eat.
Good nutrition can contribute to a reduction in falls, fewer infections and illness, and overall wellbeing for older people.
Each Meals on Wheels volunteer takes the time to have a conversation with the older person, which can help reduce their social isolation, so they stay at home for longer.
The pilot program was developed through the Australian Government funded FUTURE FIT initiative, which was designed to enhance the viability and capability of the Meals on Wheels network.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells:
“Older people deserve food that is nutritious and appetising to improve wellbeing and support their quality of life.
“The Australian Government is proud to grow our partnership with Meals on Wheels and deliver more than 150,000 meals annually to older people in Whitehorse and Ballarat.
“Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers provide more than just a meal. Every day they are out in local communities, connecting with older people, and I thank them for their dedication.”
Quotes attributable to Meals on Wheels Newcastle:
“We welcome the continued support of the Australian Government to help more older people live independently and comfortably in their own homes.
“We deliver a world class service with the help of the local community – without our local volunteers, we are nothing.”