About 2000 meals are delivered to isolated community members across the city every week through Ballarat’s Meals on Wheel service.
(min cost $8)
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Almost 60 volunteers per day are required to provide the vital service to residents and about 240 residents regularly donate their time to the cause.
According to Ballarat mayor Des Hudson the city’s ageing and growing population meant demand for the popular service showed no sign of slowing down. He said an increase in demand along with the dedication of loyal volunteers was at the heart of a council plan to build a new hub at the rear of the city oval. The hub will be officially unveiled Tuesday morning.
But it’s not the only change on the horizon for Ballarat’s Meals on Wheels with the council undertaking a review of the existing service. At the moment, Ballarat Health Services provides the meals for the service but discussions are underway to potentially open up the contract and investigate other options for catering as the service expands.
“The opening of the new hub has provided us with an opportunity to review the service in terms of the costs, quantity and demand,” he said. He said discussions about alternative providers were underway but no decisions have been made. He did not foresee any major impacts for the community if a new caterer was awarded the contract.
Cr Hudson said the hub will be an important asset for the Meals on Wheels volunteers, allowing them to socialise and receive centralised training, and will provide council with a venue for hosting events to do with volunteering in the city.
“It’s about giving our volunteers and environment where they can access the meals they deliver to the community and at the end of their route they can have a cuppa and sit down and talk to other volunteers,” he said.
The new location had been specifically selected to reduce traffic issues for volunteers.
The refurbishment has been undertaken by Ballarat builders Renovative.
The new coolroom was constructed by Outdoor Steel Solutions and PM Powers and Son.
The project was a $250,000 refurbishment of the former City Oval’s groundskeeper’s residence, with a new cool room and drive-in pick-up facility at the rear of the building.
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