August 29, 2018
South Burnett Care’s new $350,000 Meals On Wheels kitchen was officially opened on Thursday to coincide with the organisation’s annual morning tea for volunteers.
The industrial-scale kitchen is located in a purpose-built facility behind the SBcare building in Avoca Street, Kingaroy.
The first meals are expected to start being delivered from the new building next Friday; the former kitchen will remain as a community facility for use at functions in the meeting room.
CEO Cheryl Dalton said the growth in meals being prepared by Kingaroy Meals On Wheels in recent years had been phenomenal.
During the past 12 months, 31,000 meals had been prepared and delivered to 250 clients in Kingaroy, Wondai, Proston, Yarraman and Blackbutt.
This compared with about 14,000 meals just six years ago.
Chairman Paul Laurentiussen thanked the Tarong Community Partnership Fund – which provided $50,000 towards the project – Kingaroy Lions and Kingaroy Rotary for their support for the new kitchen.
Paul and Tarong site manager Brad Perry cut the ribbon to open the facility.
SBcare food services manager Jackie Raine gave a very special thank you to the Meals on Wheels volunteers, many of whom were at the opening.
“Without your commitment and hard work, we wouldn’t have Meals On Wheels,” she said.
She reminded them they were the “face” of Meals On Wheels to the public.
“And sometimes you’re the only face our clients see,” she said.
Jackie also thanked chef Craig Lewis and the team in the kitchen for all their work.
She said some changes to the Meal On Wheels delivery program had been implemented in Wondai and Proston, and the aim was for these to be rolled out in Kingaroy, Nanango, Blackbutt and Yarraman by Christmas.
Frozen and hot meals were being replaced with chilled meals, which can last up to five days in the refrigerator.
Clients can either heat the meals in a microwave, or remove the plastic cover and warm them in the oven.
“We used to deliver frozen meals fortnightly to Proston but now we do chilled meals two times a week,” Jackie said.
She said delivering food chilled was much safer than delivering hot meals that could sometimes take up to an hour to get to some people.
And from this week, there would be five Meals On Wheels runs in Kingaroy instead of four.