NEXUS Primary Health helped celebrate National Meals on Wheels Day last week with a tribute to the region’s long-serving volunteers.
Meals on Wheels is an Australia-wide service that delivers meals and conducts welfare checks on elderly and isolated people.
The service has supported the region’s residents for several decades and continues to operate as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sandra Comi was recognised for 33 years of delivering Meals on Wheels in Seymour, while her husband Denis started about five years ago.
Sarah Bennetts has been the Nexus Meals on Wheels driver for more than seven years, and Maree Lyster-Sturman and her husband Ian Sturman have been delivering meals for 15 and seven years respectively.
Ms Lyster-Sturman is also a board member of Meals on Wheels Victoria.
She said delivering nutritious food to older members of the community was an important job.
“I find it very rewarding. I am passionate about good food for older Australians – if they don’t eat properly, they will become malnourished and it won’t be long before they are admitted to hospital,” she said.
“In my opinion it is the most important service that we deliver to our residents.”
Volunteer Helen Gibb said it was special to be able to form close connections with Meals on Wheels clients.
“One of my regular clients knows I belong to the Rotary Club of Alexandra. When I delivered her meal one day she gave me a collection of newspaper cuttings about Rotary,” she said.
“I was thrilled that she enjoyed my visit and still felt part of the community.
“She is a pleasure to know. I love doing Meals on Wheels and can see how vital it is to provide a hot meal regularly to those who need it.”
Meals on Wheels client Shirley Doherty said the service provided social connection as well as food.
“It’s hard at the moment as my family live so far away. I had a card I wanted to send to my sister and a kind volunteer offered to post the card for me. I was so grateful for the help,” she said.
“The volunteers always check to make sure you’re doing okay; it’s nice to know they are keeping an eye on me.
“When you are on your own, you do enjoy having someone pop in.”