Investment in vital meal delivery services for older Australians

The PM says food delivery services will be more important than ever.

woman receiving meals on wheels delivery

Meals on Wheels and similar food delivery services will be reinforced and prioritised, as seniors across the country are urged to follow COVID-19 restrictions and stay home.

A $59.3 million government funding injection will ensure more prepared meals, food staples and essential daily items are delivered to those in need.

Of that, $50 million will pay for 3.4 million meals – or 41,000 people for six weeks, which is the equivalent of two meals a day. The remaining $9.3 million will go towards 36,000 emergency food supply boxes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said now that older people have been urged to stay at home, more people will look for support from community food programs and these services are more important than ever.

The latest targeted package of support will:

  • Prioritise home delivery for senior Australians registered with My Aged Care, ensuring direct access to grocery suppliers via online and phone ordering.
  • Ensure the availability of prepared meals and essentials services, with an extra $50 million to support aged care providers, and with more flexibility for the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
  • Work with supermarkets and commercial providers – that have been supporting airlines and the entertainment industry and now have spare capacity – to support Meals on Wheels services.

Older Australians who are isolated, but don’t have access to the internet, will be able to contact the My Aged Care centre for access to basic food and necessities.

Health minister Greg Hunt said the meal delivery service was another important step in protecting seniors from COVID-19.

“The wellbeing of older Australians remains a priority. We are supporting them so they can remain safely in their own homes,” he said.

Aged care minister Richard Colbeck said the funding would allow My Aged Care to continue its vital work.

“With the support of government and community partnerships, we will continue to work towards ensuring senior Australians get the help they need during this difficult time,” he added.

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    COMMENTS

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    Dave R
    2nd Apr 2020
    3:45pm
    I don't know if this benefits me really. I am 70 but I am a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and deliver meals to clients.
    Horace Cope
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:12pm
    Thank you, Dave R, for your service to the "old" people. My Mother-in-law was delivering Meals on Wheels to the "old" people when she was 83. She gave me a definition of "old" that I cherish. "Old" is 10 years older than you are now. When you were 10, 20 looked a way off; when you were 30, 40 was way down there and so it goes. The lovely thing about that definition, Dave R, is that you never get "old", it's always 10 years away.
    Alexia
    2nd Apr 2020
    4:32pm
    Has everyone received the $750 promised to pensioners? I havent.
    Oldchick
    2nd Apr 2020
    4:37pm
    I have but they said most will be paid by the end of this week
    Mrt
    2nd Apr 2020
    4:38pm
    Received mine Tuesday through DVA
    Retiring Well
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:19pm
    No
    Karen
    2nd Apr 2020
    9:02pm
    It did say 'from 31/03'.. no fixed date I guess...
    older&wiser
    2nd Apr 2020
    9:11pm
    Said between April 1st & April 13th.
    FrankC
    3rd Apr 2020
    11:45am
    no. perhaos theyhave a daily limit on how much they can pay out per day, like we do with the bank !! :)
    Oldchick
    2nd Apr 2020
    4:47pm
    The Government is paying to keep businesses afloat during this awful time anyway so why haven’t they given cafes and restaurants the option of supplying food to Meals on Wheels, nursing homes, shelters and the like. Keeps people employed, they’re doing what they enjoy and it keeps their business going. For weeks now we’ve been seeing how all of these organisations on both sides of the dilemma are trying deal with it, on one hand agencies who can’t get their regular staff/volunteers because they fall into the susceptible category, then on the other side restaurants, cafes and the like trying desperately to stay afloat with takeaways anyway, at the same time as trying to hold onto as many of their loyal staff as they can. I’m sure many of those same restaurants etc. had a lot of produce on hand as well so why hasn’t the Government paid to utilise their stock and their abilities. A no-brainer to me.
    disillusioned
    2nd Apr 2020
    4:49pm
    I need more data to access online meetings , but am having a battle to get any help because I live on my own in a home unit and the cabling across the common areas for the NBN hasn't been done yet. As they are no longer on phone contact, I've already put in a request but the woman cut me off before I could get a proper answer. Where is the support for people like me?
    Ginaus
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:03pm
    Some countries in Europe; volunteers provide meals, do their shopping, collect medications for the elderly/ compromised people for free... Local governments, NGO's to organise … the elderly dont have to 'organise' things themselves...!!!!!
    Ginaus
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:03pm
    Some countries in Europe; volunteers provide meals, do their shopping, collect medications for the elderly/ compromised people for free... Local governments, NGO's to organise … the elderly dont have to 'organise' things themselves...!!!!!
    GiGi
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:18pm
    My understanding is that you can order groceries from Woolworths and Coles for home delivery. But they are not the old schemes where you could get anything at all. The current schemes seem pretty useless.They are expensive, and you can't get some basics, especially perishables. The Woolworths "Basics Box' ($80) is all tinned and packaged food - NO fruit and veg, no bread, no eggs, no meat. It reminds me of the pre-packaged Christmas hampers that used to be sold - mostly stuff you don't need in amounts you can't use. I hope I'm not maligning Woolies, but I cannot see that this is much use at all. And is Coles any better (does anyone know?).
    older&wiser
    2nd Apr 2020
    9:21pm
    Not quite right. I have an elderly 80yo neighbor that has no computer. She normally drives to do her own shopping, and registered some time ago for home delivery after some operations. So I place her orders on my computer. She can order what she wants with WW. WW do have an $80 box, free delivery, but they decide what goes in box, you cannot decide.
    Another neighbor is due to have a baby in 2 weeks time, is house bound. Has already had 4 stints in hospital with problems so she is classed as a priority customer. She orders with Coles, again can order what she wants. Both stores are around 9 kms from me.
    sandyfaye
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:45pm
    I'm glad that, as an oldie, the govt is handing out money. Helps to pay for the $15 Woolworths delivery charges.
    Maggie
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:59pm
    The elderly seem to be getting a fair amount of attention and that is well and good (Even if I miss my visits to the supermarkets, choosing my fresh produce, and being in control of what I eat - this latter because some foods cause me endless problems).
    But what about the thousands of people who have to count every penny and can no more think of stocking up for a couple of weeks than fly?
    Can they trail around on public transport with kids who cannot be left alone?
    Misty
    2nd Apr 2020
    7:16pm
    Woolies won't deliver to my area, the Snowy Mntns for either the Basic Box or the Priority Assistance even though they advertise ACT and NSW. I have contacted them through Facebook after hanging on the phone for an hour without being able to speak to anyone and they messaged me back to say they are just triallling in different areas for now, I am sick of the discrimination towards country people, my sister lives in Sydney area and has access to multiple supermarkets yet she can get everything she wants delivered
    Karen
    2nd Apr 2020
    9:03pm
    Hmm - fully understand that one.... I miss that cool mountain air...
    etc1
    2nd Apr 2020
    11:19pm
    Does anyone know how to sign up to coles priority deliveries. I keep being told they haven't rolled it out yet. And when is Aldi going to help their customers with home delivery. They encourage group gathering with the short hours the open..
    GiGi
    3rd Apr 2020
    11:10am
    I,m assuming you don't have on-line access to Coles? All that I did was to access the Coles website, which will direct you clearly enough to the form for priority access.
    FrankC
    3rd Apr 2020
    11:52am
    Don't know where you live etc1, but the Aldi at deception bay is open from 8 a.m. till 8 .pm Is that not enough ?
    patti
    2nd Apr 2020
    11:58pm
    While I am capable of taking care of myself, I wish to continue doing just that. At 76, I am fit and healthy, as well as eating a specialist, plant based diet. I've used Meals on Wheels post hospital on a few occasions, and they do their best but can't really prepare the meals I need. Why should I have to remain at home because I am in a certain age group? I still wish to shop for my own supplies and get exercise, fresh air and sunlight, while observing social distancing. There are many younger than me who would benefit from these services. Also if My Aged Care are involved with the organising of these services, my previous experience with them suggests I could starve to death waiting for them to get organised. I am still waiting for someone to clean up my garden, which was promised back in January. I've had to hire a team and pay commercial rates to have it done. I'll keep relying on myself, thanks.
    GiGi
    3rd Apr 2020
    11:18am
    You may be fit and healthy for your age, but the key thing to understand is that the human immune system deteriorates with age. In other words, you may be fit and healthy, but you're also more likely to get sick than someone in their sixties or fifties or forties or thirties. That's why oldies need extra protection. Don't get on your high horse about 'independence', Patti, just stay at home as much as you can!!
    etc1
    3rd Apr 2020
    2:57pm
    Thankyou to everyone that responded to me not able to access Coles cops delivery. It came available to Ballarat now and I have been able to sign up. I do have a least 4 Aldi's in my area, but trying to do the right thing to not go out and maybe infect ppl. It's not really that hard or stay at home to save the lives of our loved ones. To say that the deaths are not high is to say we don't care if our son, daughter, father, mother are dead.
    etc1
    3rd Apr 2020
    3:04pm
    Please don't be offended ppl. But this is how it is.
    https://youtu.be/e0G63uzhFP4
    sayonara
    4th Apr 2020
    4:57pm
    I haven't received anything ,neither did my husband. Some people got an sms message on their phone.


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