May 27, 2019
Work began on Monday on a $255,000 expansion of the Meals On Wheels kitchen in Kingaroy.
The kitchen, operated by South Burnett Care (formerly known as SBcare), last year provided 27,622 meals to the South Burnett community, up from just 12,000 five years ago.
The meals are currently being prepared in a small kitchen attached to the Senior Citizens Hall.
The new kitchen is being developed at the rear of this building.
An existing storage shed is being enlarged, lined and fitted out as a commercial kitchen.
Meals On Wheels currently delivers hot meals to customers in Kingaroy and frozen meals to residents in Proston, Nanango, Blackbutt, Benarkin and Yarraman.
Food Services manager Jackie Raine told a recent Stanwell community update the number of people receiving meals had grown amazingly during the past nine months.
There are now about 120 community customers and 60 centre customers being regularly provided with meals.
Menus are rotated every eight weeks so people are not always receiving the same meal.
Special needs – diabetes, food allergies and intolerance, and pureed meals – are also catered for.
And not all the clients are elderly. More and more people with a short-term disability, eg. a broken arm, are receiving support for small periods while they recover.
South Burnett Care CEO Cheryl Dalton said that during the past 18 months, Meals on Wheels has employed a chef, an apprentice and two permanent part-time people.
Stanwell’s Tarong Community Partnership Program has provided $50,000 towards the kitchen upgrade.
“The rest has come from scrimping and saving,” Cheryl said.
She said $50,000 worth of new equipment would also be installed in the new kitchen.
“We will be approaching local service clubs to see if they can help fund the purchase of this equipment,” she said.
The existing Meals On Wheels kitchen will remain available as a community kitchen to service the hall and be available for hire.
The building work will take about two months to complete.
Cheryl asked people using the rear car park to be patient while the work was under way.