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