Meals on Wheels has been operating in Gin Gin for almost 35 years and it seems the community’s appetite for the service continues to grow.
With just a small team of volunteers the group served up 728 meals last month.
Just a few years ago it would not have been out of the ordinary for the group to provide about 4000 meals a year but in recent times the numbers have continued to increase.
So much so that secretary Glennis Goodman said the estimate for this financial year was 7500 meals.
“It just moseyed along for some time,” Glennis said.
“In June 2016 we purchased a blast chiller for the hospital that allowed us to offer frozen meals.”
The chiller, funded through a Bundaberg Regional Council grant, meant the organisation could offer meals to people living on acreage outside of Gin Gin and extend its services to Mount Perry.
Glennis said community support kept the group going with the hospital cooking the meals, Evolution Mining making a donation towards fuel expenses and Bendigo Bank providing a grant for eskies.
Vice-president Kay Rieck said the Meals on Wheels team was passionate about helping its clients.
“We deliver Monday to Friday every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a public holiday or not,” Kay said.
“We’re about the only Meals on Wheels that operates on Christmas Day.”
Proud history in Gin Gin
Kay said going by the archives, Meals on Wheels Gin Gin delivered its first meal on 25 April 1985 at a cost of $1.50.
Nowadays clients receive a soup, main meal and dessert for $7.
Divisional councillor Wayne Honor commended the volunteers for their important community service.
“It's a big area they cover from Gin Gin and surrounds to Mount Perry,” he said.
“The volunteers deliver nutritious and affordable meals, and their visit breaks the isolation for some people and provides necessary social contact.”
Accessing Meals on Wheels
Kay said the organisation had an open door policy.
“We take people on a temporary basis if they have just come out of hospital we’re more than happy to help them out for a couple of weeks.”
The group can be contacted on 4157 3621.
More information on services and eligibility requirements can be found at Queensland Meals on Wheels.