Katrina Hawkes and Ashley Turner prepare meals for Suncare Community Services’ Meals on Wheels program.
Katrina Hawkes and Ashley Turner prepare meals for Suncare Community Services’ Meals on Wheels program.

Support pours in for meals

IN THE past four weeks, more than 2200 meals have been delivered to some of the community's most vulnerable through Suncare Community Services' Meals on Wheels program, thanks to generous donations from the Sunshine Coast community.

Based on the current COVID-19 social restrictions, the Suncare Community Services kitchen has adapted from producing and delivering hot meals every day, to providing a variety of frozen-meal options that are all still prepared and cooked in the Maroochydore kitchen. Suncare chief executive Russell Mason said staff had worked hard to produce beautiful home-cooked meals for those who need them most.

"This is a really challenging and frightening time for those who are isolated from their family and friends, and our service not only provides wholesome meals to those in need, but helps keep people connected and reminds them that they aren't forgotten," Mr Mason said.

"We are not just delivering meals but providing an important visit to monitor the health and wellbeing of each individual.

"The community has been very supportive at a challenging time for everyone, which has made it possible for us to continue this essential service for our clients.

"When the Maroochydore RSL had to close its doors, they gifted a range of fresh and semi-prepared food, which not only reduced our financial cost but assisted us in reducing preparation time as many of the vegetables were ready to use.

"In addition, Queensland Meals on Wheels donated 200 packs of toilet rolls from Woolworths and we were also able to deliver Easter eggs and a range of puzzles and games to help keep spirits up.

"We understand how important the continuity of our service is at this time and that our staff are some of the only people our clients see through the week."

The Meals on Wheels recipients are also some of the most at risk of infection of COVID-19 - not just as many are seniors but also for those who might be recovering after hospitalisation or a major injury or surgery, a person with a disability or for carers.

Suncare Community Services has well-developed protocols and processes for infection control events, keeping clients and staff as safe as possible at all times.

The preparation and delivery of all meals are at the direction of the Department of Health.

Personal protective clothing is worn, and social distancing is maintained at all times.

"We are so grateful to live in such a giving community and our staff love being able to communicate this to our clients," Mr Mason said.

"No contribution is too small as every delivery we make genuinely makes a difference."

To find out more, go to suncare.org.au/services/meals-wheels or phone 1800 786 227.

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