Meals on Wheels’ Henley/Grange branch will today celebrate 60 years of supporting vulnerable members of the western suburbs communities.
The branch, which was originally established on Military Road, Henley Beach in 1961 delivers nutritious meals and provides a valuable social and wellbeing check to support over 200 members of the Henley, Grange and surrounding communities to live independently in their homes.
From humble beginnings with only 16 customers on the books, the Henley/Grange branch has now delivered 1,670,000 meals over six decades.
Chairperson of the Branch Committee and Kitchen Coordinator Assistant, Barney Williams who has volunteered at the branch for 15 years, says he is proud the branch has reached this milestone.
“Our volunteers are truly proud of the branch achieving 60 years of service to the community by providing support and a nourishing meal to those in need.”
“The importance of these meals, I believe, have been highlighted in the last 12 months. Our customers, being elderly and/or with medical issues, were the most vulnerable in our society with respect to COVID-19,” he explains.
“When the state went into lockdown and volunteers aged over 70 years old were recommended to stay home, a lot of our customers feared that they would not receive meals.”
“But no, meals were still delivered to clients with social distancing, face masks and hand sanitiser in place. This, I believe, instilled confidence in our customers when they feared the worst.”
Chief Executive Officer of Meals on Wheels, Sharyn Broer says for the last six decades, Meals on Wheels Henley/Grange has significantly impacted the health, wellbeing, independence and connection of older residents living in the Henley, Grange and surrounding western areas.
“The Meals on Wheels service is more important than ever and plays a vital role in supporting older South Australians to remain living independently in their homes.”
“I am thrilled the Henley/Grange branch has reached 60 years of serving its community and it is important to recognise the incredible volunteers who have made this special milestone possible.”
The branch is holding a luncheon today at the West Lakes Golf Club to celebrate the occasion. “I look forward to celebrating with the branch volunteers on Thursday – it should be a lovely afternoon,” Ms Broer says.
The branch, now located on Hill Street in Henley Beach, currently delivers around 570 freshly-cooked meals, 60 special meals and 50 frozen meals a week to members of the Henley, Grange and surrounding communities.