ANN Smith and husband Les get as much enjoyment out of their Meals on Wheels deliveries as their clients.
The Hastings couple enjoy “doing something worthwhile” and are good mates with their often-vulnerable client base.
“We get to know them and their funny little ways and always make sure they are OK, especially during lockdown,” Ms Smith said.
Last month’s National Meals on Wheels Day (26 August) aimed to highlight the contribution made by more than 700 Meals on Wheels services and 80,000 volunteers across Australia.
It’s a big operation on the Mornington Peninsula, with the service relying on 130 volunteers to deliver 74,000 meals a year to older residents and younger ones with disabilities.
The Smiths have for the past four years been delivering meals four or five days a week to as far away as Shoreham and Point Leo. They consider themselves lucky to be “allowed out and about” during lockdown.
“We’ve got our little permission slips in the glovebox,” Ms Smith said.
The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said of the volunteers: “Under the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in due to coronavirus, it has been outstanding to see the bedrock of community strength and spirit shining through.
“Our Meals on Wheels volunteers, with support from our aged and disability service staff, are still working hard delivering meals to our most vulnerable.
“At a time when all kinds of services are ceasing, it is more important than ever that our residents in need have dedicated community members watching out for them.
“Many of our clients, including their friends and family, say the social connection the service provides is just as important as the meal itself.”