Meals on Wheels History
Meals on Wheels itself originated in Britain during the Second World War. Its vision was to assist frail older people who wanted to stay in their own homes, but who needed help to do so.
In Australia, Meals on Wheels began in 1952 in South Melbourne. A lady on a tricycle delivered the meals, but when it became too much for her, the Red Cross took over.
In March 1957, Sydney City Council introduced Meals on Wheels in NSW. In the first week, 150 meals were cooked in the Town Hall for inner city dwellers. The cost of the meal was two shillings, which is approximately 20 cents today.
From its inception over 60 years ago, Meals on Wheels has grown to become a driving force of care in the community. Over the course of a year, more than 78,700 volunteers deliver over 14.8 million meals to approximately 53,000 recipients Australia-wide in cities, as well as regional and rural areas. Of these, 35,000 volunteers in NSW deliver about 4.5 million meals each year.
The changing face of Meals on Wheels reflects how the organisation is responding and adapting to the changing face of the community. The multicultural nature of society is echoed in the food, faces and friendships that represent Meals on Wheels.
Whilst the traditions and values of Meals on Wheels remain true to their origins, a focus on engaging people of all ages and from all walks of life is unfolding. This focus brings renewed energy, ideas and vision to help the organisation continue to provide a vital service, meeting the needs of the community.
NSW Meals on Wheels
Australian Meals on Wheels Association