Volunteers drive nutrition and independence

Sydney Community Services can’t thank them enough in Volunteers’ Week (May 21-27) and year-round  …  Volunteers are the backbone of many of Sydney Community Services’ supports  – gardening, Community Visiting Scheme, fresh linen service, Community Hub entertainment and of course Meals on Wheels.

One hundred volunteers came to a town hall meeting to discuss the possibility of a Meals-on-Wheels (MOW) service in 1966. That year Lane Cove Community Aid Service volunteers drove 65 meals a day to locals in the neighbourhood. A year later Gladesville and District Community Aid started with 15 meals a day. The meals, initially provided by local hospitals, helped people stay living in their own homes. Government boosted the service with a 25-cent per meal subsidy so it cost clients less than a dollar a meal.

Today, Sydney Community Services volunteers drive almost 30,000 meals a year to grateful neighbours in northside suburbs such as Lane Cove and across the Ryde, Gladesville, Hunters Hill local government areas. The menu choice and quality have come a long way since ‘68 when these black-and-white photos were taken – almost as far as volunteers have driven the meals.