Cross border meal service offers lifeline for elderly
VOLUNTEERS for Killarney Memorial Aged care are crossing border checkpoints just to feed Legume residents unable to cook for themselves.
Since March, the Meals on Wheels crew has dealt with their fair share of adversities, with many of the volunteers from the program being forced to step down for their own safety during the pandemic.
But business manager Sarah Fea said the way staff stepped up to ensure meals were delivered was a testament to the way they went above and beyond daily.
“The range we cover, it is quite broad,” she said.
“We do people in Tannymorel a big loop from Killarney and some are quite remote.
“It’s a big effort but each person is super important.”
Community and NDIS Care manager Sue Hoopmann said the process of securing border passes for the remaining two volunteers and staff was made easier due to the support of checkpoint personnel.
She began a system that would ensure zero contact with residents once across the border, so MOW people wouldn’t need to isolate.
“My advice was to pull up and say we’re just going to do the meals so they’d (border enforcers) know they were coming back in 10 or 15, they were very supportive, looked out for them and said you’re fine you don't have to worry,” she said.
“Our goal is to support people to stay living at home which is where they want to be so we get enormous satisfaction to give them the help they need to stay.”
Only a handful of Legume residents were accessing the service, but Ms Fea said KMAC is looking to expand.
“It is a big co-ordinated effort for just one person or one couple but I guess each person is super important,” she said.
“It’s certainly not a money-making exercise, Meals on Wheels, it’s about the person.”
Now borders are expected to reopen on July 10, the returned volunteers and staff are expected to have ease of passage to help their cross-border clients.
But the service won’t stop there, as Meals on Wheels is advertising their services to a broad scope of over-65s on the Southern Downs who are doing it tough.
To support the elderly during this time, the Federal Government is providing extra funding for them to receive meals conveniently delivered, in the comfort of their own homes
For more information about the program, phone 07 4664 1488 to discuss how you can register for the meals program.