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June 2021 marks 70 years of New Zealand Red Cross' Meals on Wheels service and we are celebrating by looking back at some of the incredible stories from our volunteers and the people we support.
New Zealand Red Cross' Meals on Wheels service proudly operates in 33 locations across Aotearoa, delivering around 620,000 meals each year, forming lasting connections along the way.
Looking after our older generation - Donna
Growing up with her grandparents, Donna Sanchez admits she has a soft spot for the older generation. So, when the call was sent for additional support to keep our Meals on Wheels service running while Aotearoa was at COVID-19 Alert Level 4, she was quick to volunteer her time to help deliver this ‘essential service’ aimed at providing some elderly and vulnerable people in Masterton with healthy meals.
An anticipated visit - Neville
Neville never misses the daily visit from our Red Cross volunteers who bring him a hot meal and, very importantly, a friendly chat thanks to our Meals on Wheels service.
We never say no - Soni and Winnie
Soni and Winnie Rogan have been delivering Meals on Wheels in Auckland for nearly 15 years. The couple met in Whanganui more than 50 years ago and, after careers in construction and healthcare, decided to make use of their spare time by volunteering.
The perfect system - Garry and Janice
For husband and wife Garry and Janice Graham delivering Meals on Wheels is a team effort: one drives while the other drops off the meals. It’s an ideal system the couple has perfected over the many years volunteering with New Zealand Red Cross.
Meals on two wheels - Nigel
It’s hard to miss Nigel Rushton when he’s out and about on his bike. With a custom trailer and brightly coloured flags, Nigel’s bike brings a new meaning to Meals on Wheels.
Emergency tips on wheels - Muriel
During Good and Ready week from 14 to 20 October 2020, Meals on Wheels was adapted to help Hamiltonians prepare for future disasters: ‘Tips on Wheels’ were delivered to Hamilton’s elderly community along with their meals.
More than a meal - Betty
It’s a wet Tuesday morning in Invercargill, but it’s with a warm smile that Betty Wilson opens the door to Kevin Whitney, a New Zealand Red Cross Meals on Wheels driver. Kevin has popped round just before noon to drop off Betty’s hot lunch. Betty is one of our Meals on Wheels recipients – she’s unable to cook for herself so receives a hot meal delivered by a Red Cross volunteer
Not an ordinary run - Garry
An ordinary Meals on Wheels delivery turns into saving a life – find out how Garry is making a real difference in Christchurch.
Doing good from an early age - Emma and Gil
Emma Escott, a young Palmerston North girl has her first taste of humanitarianism by helping her grandfather, Gil, deliver Meals on Wheels.
Inspired? Become a Meals on Wheels driver today
Thanks to volunteer drivers, Meals on Wheels is one of our longest standing and most recognised community programmes – and one that is much appreciated by the recipients. More than just a carrier of hot meals, we deliver independence to many elderly and disabled people, as well as those recovering from illness or hospital treatment.
But most importantly, the service provides much needed regular social contact for the Meals on Wheels recipients. During COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4, Meals on Wheels was granted essential service status, which meant our volunteers were able to deliver more than 103,500 meals to isolated members of communities across Aotearoa.