Five Moreton Bay Region Meals on Wheels services are in the process of merging to create a more flexible and efficient network that can take on more clients.
The Caboolture, Bribie, Burpengary, Samford and Pine Rivers services will all come under the Meals on Wheels Moreton Bay banner in the new year.
Pine Rivers Meals on Wheels manager Wendy Smith says Meals on Wheels Moreton Bay has been at least six years in the making and will provide a support network for smaller services with only a handful of volunteers.
“The thing that got us going is that a lot of our services are run totally by volunteers,” Wendy says.
“One service has a committee with about four or five people and they send (meals) out to 50 people a week.
“One person there does all the cooking and then does deliveries and paperwork – they’re working six days a week.
“Another one does all the cleaning every day and then does the other run.”
Wendy says the goal of the merge is to be able to send volunteers or staff from larger services to fill gaps, and centralise cooking so smaller services can meet demand for spending time with clients and doing welfare checks.
“It will give them more time with their clients, and that’s what they want,” she says.
“Visiting clients is really important, to check how they are living, to see if they have food in the fridge, to check their security.”
Wendy says the service is hunting for a commercial kitchen somewhere between Petrie and Caboolture to make centralised cooking a reality.
“The Petrie kitchen is ageing and won’t be big enough.”
Wendy says the State Government is keen to see smaller services join forces because one with 30 clients generates the same amount of paperwork as one with 300.
Between them, the five existing services provide meals for 800 clients.
“We’ve looked at the geography and realised how many more people we will be able to help doing it this way – some of the smaller services have not been able to take on new clients.
“We also have Census data and documentation to look at going into new areas, like Donnybrook and Toorbul.”
To volunteer with Meals on Wheels Moreton Bay or to find out more about the service email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3285 2532.