The Meals on Wheels service provided to residents from across the Central West and beyond has never been more important.
During a recent visit to the Bathurst-based operations of the organisation, Member for Bathurst Paul Toole acknowledged the incredible role Meals on Wheels plays in allowing people to retain their independence.
Around of 10,000 meals per week are distributed out of Bathurst, providing hearty and healthy food to Bathurst and Oberon.
However, in the bigger picture it also supplies Central West Food Services who then distribute to other organisations with a massive coverage from Kiama to Albury, Wentworth and all the way out to Lightning Ridge.
Mr Toole said major upgrades to the Bathurst headquarters were completed last year thanks to a $300,000 grant from the NSW Government.
“This work included a major makeover to the kitchen and amenities as well as new equipment, including much needed larger ovens which has allowed for the increase in productivity,” he said.
Today, Mr Toole announc
ed a NSW Government Stronger Country Communities grant of $103,150 to construct a new planetary mixer and large scale freezer.
“Meals on Wheels Bathurst are now able to continue to provide their clients with quality meals that really are vital to the day to day lives of the people they support.
“There was a real spike in demand for the service due to COVID and these further improvements will really make a difference considering the facility dates back to 1997-98 and was constructed using limited funds, volunteer labour and all possible cost-saving measures.”
Local Meals on Wheels president Donald Alexander said the NSW Government has played an invaluable role in securing the future of the local facility.
“It would have been a massive job just to stay afloat without that support. And the service has never been more important with the ever-increasing cost of living expenses being faced by our clients,” Mr Alexander said.
“If anything, the upgrades to the kitchen and the battles we faced with COVID meant we have been able to improve our productivity. Everyone is now working smarter, not harder.
“As an organisation, we look forward to the continued support of Mr Toole and the NSW Government as we have a number of projects on the drawing board, all aimed to the continuing modernisation of our Bathurst headquarters.”