Meals on Wheels chief speaks to Rotary club

Chief executive of Meals on Wheels Central Coast Mr Dennis Taylor has spoken to the Rotary Club of Umina about the work of his organisation in the region.
Rotary member Mr Tom O’Connor introduced Mr Taylor, saying he had held the position for the last six and half years, after 35 years’ experience in criminal law and work with the Justice Department ín New Zealand and Australia.
Mr Taylor told the club that Meals on Wheels had been on the Central Coast for 53 years.
He said it started at the Salvation Army then moved to Gosford Food Services.
Meals on Wheels provided a valuable service to the aged, needy and less mobile people who needed regular meals to eat at home, he said.
Not only is frozen food delivered Monday to Friday, volunteers engaged with the householder and checked on their general health and welfare.
Fridges were checked to ensure that food is not being hoarded and options are provided for a change in diet.
Mr Taylor said the service offered more than 150 different meal choices.
The main food preparation kitchens were in Fairfield, Wollongong and Newcastle and between them, over 50,000 meals are prepared daily.
He said Meals on Wheels had packaged home delivery deals with Government agencies and NDIS clients.
It ran a community restaurant on a Friday called “Evergreen” in Gosford, as well a another one in the community centre at Woy Woy, he said.
He said the service had stood down about 70 home delivery volunteers, who were also retired and deemed to be at risk during the coronavirus shutdown.
They were replaced by younger unemployed volunteers.
Mr Taylor said Meals on Wheels would be changing its name to Coastal Cuisine to make the service more appealing to the community, and to avoid the perception that the service was only available for the elderly.
He said Meals on Wheels was funded by the Commonwealth but the organisation relied on the volunteer home delivery staff who received mileage allowance for their efforts.
New clients could be referred to the service by family, neighbours or a local doctor, and would be interviewed by client service officers to determine their suitability.

Newsletter, 28 Oct 2020
Bruce Croft, Rotary Umina Beach