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Branch celebrates decades of service

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Stockton Meals on Wheels has celebrated 50 years of cooking and caring in the community.

The branch, which began in March 1969, serves fresh and frozen meals to the elderly, disabled and their carers across Stockton and surrounding areas.

“We’re really proud to be [at Stockton], and to have served the old beachside community with food for vulnerable people,” Meals on Wheels Newcastle General Manager, Damien Isaacs, says.

“Over the years we have developed strong relationships and remain a part of the community.

“We’re supporting the community’s elders – people who are really important to all of us.

“We deliver meals three times a week and this means our clients are getting a visit from someone who cares about them on a regular basis.”

Mr Isaacs says that the service is so important, but “funding has stagnated”.

Stockton is the smallest branch within Newcastle, and it has worked hard to keep it open, even when under financial pressure.   

Meals on Wheels Newcastle receives about $7.80 in funding for each meal and charges its clients $5 a meal.

This puts the funds received well under cost, making donations vital to continue the service.

“We really need the government to up their funding,” Mr Isaacs says. 

“We appreciate a donation of timejoining us as a volunteer, but, with rising food and power prices, we also really value monetary donations.

“We are in desperate need of funding and support.”

In 2020, Stockton, along with other branches, will be launching the Cup-a-Tea initiative.

The initiative is looking to recruit volunteers to visit older community members.

“A lot of the elderly people in our community are very isolated, and we are looking for volunteers to go and have a cup of tea and a conversation with them,” Mr Isaacs says.

“We are, after all, very social beings and often older people in the community are overlooked.”

He says that the organisation “genuinely changes lives” and it wants to encourage communities to think about the suburb’s ageing population.

“They need our support and to be valued,” Mr Isaacs says.

If you would like to donate or volunteer visit Newcastle Meals on Wheels’ Facebook page or call 4957 7097.

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