Thursday, May 9, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life


Over 100 people gathered to celebrate 50 years of Meals on Wheels at a special event held in Proserpine last Saturday and it was a time to celebrate, reflect and give thanks to the incredible efforts of volunteers, committee members and staff.

The first meal was served on May 6, 1974, to Mrs Hartwig who paid just 50 cents for a three-course meal which was delivered by Mrs Vera McLennan.

An initiative of the Uniting Church of Proserpine, the inception of our local Meals on Wheels was spearheaded by Mrs Arieal Davies who organised cooks and deliverers to get the program started.

Over the past 50 years the names and faces have changed along the way, but the good work and selfless efforts of everyone who participates has remained the same.

Federal Member of Dawson Andrew Willcox, Michael Houden, Chairperson of Qld Meals On Wheels, Helen Maynard-Turner, Margaret Perkins Proserpine President, Kerri Martin Committee Member and Rachael Speechley, Region Support Officer Qld. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

Thanks For The Feed!
Meals On Wheels Celebrates 50 Years

A sea of happy faces enjoyed a lively gathering in Proserpine on Saturday, with the Mommas and Poppas band playing some well-known sing-along classics while guests indulged in a delicious high tea to celebrate 50 years of our local Meals on Wheels service.

The scene of merriment brought together the broader community of people connected with our local Meals on Wheels – from previous to current volunteers, founders, customers and a host of others who have each played a role in some capacity over the years.

Federal Member of Dawson Andrew Willcox and his wife Raylene were also present on the day, making a special trip to town to mark this significant milestone.

First established at the Old Methodist Hall in Proserpine, the demand soon outgrew the modest space and, within six years, plans were drawn up to build a new kitchen on ground leased from the Proserpine Shire Council alongside the Aged Persons Units in Marathon Street.  

Over the years, the kitchen has had an office added, an extended carport, new dry store area plus a walk-in cold room and freezer.  

The non-for-profit organisation also organised funds for a generator to ensure they could continue operating if the power went off.

In addition, the purchase of a new Nissan Qashqai has increased their ability to service clients further afield.

Covid was a particularly challenging time for the organisation with the number of volunteers dwindling to 16 and cooks doubling as delivery drivers.

Fortunately, Meals on Wheels managed to bring volunteer numbers back up gradually, reaching a comfortable 26 volunteers this year.

Proserpine Meals on Wheels would like to thank all the businesses and community groups that have helped over the years.

They would also like to thank past presidents, founders and of course all the volunteers and staff.

Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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