Frequently Asked Questions...

Here are some of the questions Meals on Wheels SA (MoWSA) is frequently asked. If you have any more questions please call us on 1800 854 453…


Why is the Meals on Wheels SA service needed?

There are people in our community who for a variety of reasons are unable to cook or shop for themselves with ease. Their ability to live independently is enhanced by the Meals on Wheels service.

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Is Meals on Wheels a government service?

No, Meals on Wheels is an independent community based volunteer organisation, incorporated in SA with oversight by a volunteer Board. The cost of meals is primarily covered by our modest charges, the balance comes from Government grants, public donations and legacies.

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Who is eligible for Meals on Wheels?

Anybody who has difficulty with shopping or cooking for themselves with ease, is eligible. The service is provided to older people, people with a disability, people recovering from surgery and of course carers. The service is not means tested, is based on need and There are no waiting lists!

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How do I access the Meals on Wheels Service and do I need a referral?

A simple call can be made to our Central Office on Freecall 1800 854 453 where one of our staff can assist you over the phone.

Referrals can come from anywhere, including; family members, friends and even by referring yourself!
Formal referrals are also happily accepted from general practitioners, heath care professionals, community care providers or your local council.

If you live in regional SA our staff will be able to assist you with local information and direct you to your local service. Click here to lodge a referral.

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How soon can a Meals on Wheels service be provided?

Once a referral to our service has been received, a representative from Meals on Wheels arranges a visit to the new client, in their own home,usually the following day.

Once it is agreed that the service will be valuable and the paperwork has been completed, the service can usually start the following day.

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How do I make a referral?

A simple call can be made to our Freecall 1800 854 453 number, where one of our staff can assist you over the phone.  You can also fax in your details to 8271 8101 or speak to your doctor, community health nurse or other health professional who can help you with the process.

If you live in regional SA our staff will be able to assist you with local information. Click here to lodge a referral.

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Where do the meals come from?

Our meals are produced through our network of kitchens run by volunteers or a local providers such as a hospital. Special meals for special diets are produced at our Kent Town facility and are sent to branches where they are delivered by volunteers.

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I only want meals for a few weeks. Is that OK?

Sure! We have no minimum time period, as we understand our service might only be needed for a few weeks to give people a chance to recover and get back on their feet. We will review your service needs with you regularly.

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Do I have to have a Meals on Wheels every day?

No. its is entirely the choice of our client. There are no minimum requirements.

Meals on Wheels can be a 7 day service if needed. Monday to Friday we provide a hot lunchtime meal to people who are unable to cook or shop for themselves. Meals on Wheels offers the option of fresh cooked meals which are specially frozen and can be delivered to you for weekends & holidays.

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What do I do for my other meals?

Meals on Wheels provides a sound base for daily nutrition. We recognise that people have special and individual needs and circumstances and we would encourage our clients to have a plan to make sure they don't lack the energy for living happily and better.

We have a range of leaflets such as our Healthy Eating booklet, which can provide you with other hints and tips for easy to prepare meals. You can discuss your individual situation with us when we visit; as there may be other options that we can suggest.

We also offer the option of fresh cooked meals which are specially frozen and can be delivered to you for weekends & holidays.

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There are certain foods that I don’t like. Is that alright?

Meals on Wheels volunteer based system finds it difficult to cater for every personal like or dislike in taste, but you should discuss these matters with us so that we are aware.

We do have the ability to provide not only our regular meals on a rotating basis form an extensive menu to ensure variety, but also special meals for special diets or needs such as: Texture modified, High energy/High protein, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Low Potassium and so on.

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What if I have a special diet or allergies to food?

Meals on Wheels has the ability to provide a selection of special diets for those with an identified medical need and have a referral from a doctor, speech pathologist or appropriate healthcare professional. Depending on availability, special diets may take a few days to arrange with the local Branch.

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Does Meals on Wheels provide texture modified meals?

Yes, we do provide texture modified meals and a referral from a speech pathologist or a doctor is necessary for these meal varieties.

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How do I pay for my meals?

Meals on Wheels preferred method of payment is usually by direct debit. This helps keep costs down and saves our volunteers form having to handle cash on their deliverers.

When we come to arrange meals, we will provide all the necessary information to enable this to take place.

Bank details are kept strictly confidential.

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I don’t like the idea of direct debit. Is there another way to pay for my meals?

For the safety of our volunteers, convenience for clients and security of transaction; direct debit is the preferred method of payment.

Most of our clients pay for their meals in this way.

If you have any specific need or financial questions, our Finance Department will be happy to discuss them with you.

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How do you keep the cost of the meals so affordable?

Our dedicated volunteers! Those who give freely of their time, skills and resources enables Meals on Wheels to offer such a value packed service.

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How do I become involved as a volunteer?

What do I do if I need to cancel a meal delivery?

The local Branch needs 24 hours notice to cancel your meal if you are not going to be home to receive it.

If your local Branch is not attended at the time you need to call and advise us of a change, you can make a Freecall to 1800 854 453.

We will not charge for a meal if you let the Branch know in advance.

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Can’t you just leave my meal somewhere if I am not going to be home?

Meals on Wheels must ensure that the meal is delivered safely and within health regulation time frames set by Health SA.

Our "More than just a meal" motto also has our deliverers ensuring that you are alright through a personal contact.

If you know in advance that you will not be home at the time of your meal delivery on a certain day, you could arrange with a neighbour to take delivery perhaps or you may  pre-order a frozen meal in advance, to be delivered the day before!

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Can I have a small serve because I am not a big eater?

The Meals on Wheels three-course meal accounts for a little over a third of an older person’s nutritional and energy requirements.

We do recommend that clients try eating the full meal when it is delivered hot.

However, we also understand that some days you may not feel like this all at once, so perhaps the dessert could be eaten later in the day e.g.. for afternoon tea?

Meals on Wheels does not suggest splitting the meal, but if it is done at anytime, we recommend supplementing the meal by having other food e.g.. a toasted sandwich with the soup, a bread roll with the main course, or any of the other meals as suggested by our ‘Healthy Eating Guide’ provided at your initial meeting.

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What if I would like to provide some feedback to Meals on Wheels?

We are always happy to handle compliments, complaints or suggestions.

Ring our Freecall 1800 854 453 number and you will be directed to the most appropriate person to discuss your query.

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