At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Wollongong Meals on Wheels was the beneficiary of some corporate generosity that helped the community.
Woolworths provided toilet rolls and TK Maxx donated surplus Easter Eggs when its stores closed for several months.
It wasn't long before Meals on Wheels itself was directly impacted by the coronavirus and during 2020 the number of volunteers reduced from more than 100 to around 30.
Despite that demand was still there for 1800 nutritional meals a month in the Illawarra.
The service is available to anyone in the community and a freezer van was sought for the distribution centre in Montague St, North Wollongong. And two people were employed to deliver meals.
A new van would have cost $70,000 but the volunteer run organisation managed to acquire a second hand one for around $30,000. That helped as demand remained high during COVID-19.
Wollongong Meals on Wheels president Kevin Collison said as restrictions continue to ease volunteers are again being sought.
Mr Collison said in the past most had been retirees helping out one day a week or a month. But some of those people are no longer available and a call is being made for more volunteers.
Committee member Jeannie Lyall said as a volunteer run service Meals and Wheels relies heavily on support from the community. And it is looking at expanding its range of services.
"Most of our volunteers are over 70," she said.
"When COVID-19 happened we couldn't allow them to continue."
Mrs Lyall said delivering food was something people enjoyed doing. Manager Sarah Callaway said the distribution centre delivers frozen and hot meals from Shellharbour to Thirroul.
"Frozen meals are delivered Monday and Thursday and hot meals Monday to Friday. Some of our volunteers haven't been able to return so we are looking for new volunteers. For hot meals people can deliver in their own vehicle. Everything else is provided."
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