Nourishment for the body and nourishment for the soul delivered by “angels on wheels”.
That’s one of the compliments paid to Gin Gin Meals on Wheels volunteers by clients grateful for the food and the friendship.
Take a tour with volunteers as they undertake the daily meals delivery and you gain a great appreciation of what this service means to so many of the elderly within the former Kolan Shire.
Gin Gin Meals on Wheels has been providing nutritious meals to local residents since 1985.
President Bev Pittock said the service had created a proud record during its 35 years of operation.
Even COVID-19 was unable to derail the service which continued uninterrupted with the required social distancing regulations being observed.
“Ours is such an essential service for the community,” Bev said.
“People depend on the regularity of their meals, but they also depend on the regularity of the interaction our volunteers bring when they make those deliveries.”
Bev said the Gin Gin MOW’s has around 30 volunteers engaged.
“Currently our meals, both hot, cold and frozen, are collected from the Gin Gin Hospital kitchen.
“We provide a five-days a week service with clients able to choose the days of delivery.”
Each day two teams of volunteers make the delivery rounds.
On Wednesday it was Wendy and Rhys Davies undertaking the town deliveries while Thelma Jensen did the hour-long country deliveries circuit.
Clients welcome friendly face of angels on wheels
Wendy Davies and husband Rhys have been volunteering for just under a year while Thelma has 12 plus years of service.
“It simply makes you feel great that you are doing something worthwhile in your community. Everyone on our round is just so happy to see us, they appreciate the food, but they also appreciate the company,” Wendy said.
“Many of our clients live on their own and at times we will be the only people they see during the day. Our interaction with them reassures us that they are okay and it is also a great tonic for so many of them.
“Marge Gallagher is one of the recipients of the service which seems appropriate given that Marge contributed more than 20 years as a volunteer with Gin Gin Meals on Wheels,” Wendy said.
On arrival Marge meets Wendy and Rhys with a broad smile and a small trolley on which her meal is placed.
“The food is always great especially given that I don’t have to cook it myself,” Marge said.
“I haven’t cooked in about two years,” she laughed.
Each meal delivery contains hot lunch, soup, dessert and a fruit juice with a modest fee charged for the food.
The deliveries around town take about one hour.
“Some volunteers do just once a month, others, like Thelma do three times a week. The group simply appreciates whatever anyone can contribute by way of time,” Wendy said.
Hot, cold or frozen meals are delivered by the “angels on wheels” to the homes or respite centre for the frail, elderly residents over 65 and Aboriginal and TSI over 50 and eligible disabled people in the community.
Anyone wishing to make enquiries regarding the Gin Gin Meals on Wheels service can contact Bev Pittock on 0420 849 760.
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