Chorus’ special delivery

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Chorus staff members Jacqui Croston and Ina Hart with chef Duncan Slater.
Camera IconChorus staff members Jacqui Croston and Ina Hart with chef Duncan Slater. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Despite workplaces across the country shutting office doors, it is all hands on deck for Chorus staff delivering Meals on Wheels to the community’s most vulnerable.

Operating out of the Albany Seniors Citizens Centre kitchen, the community support service is usually powered by a team of volunteers who pay a visit to isolated community members every weekday with a hot meal in hand.

To ensure the safety of its elderly volunteers, Chorus has scaled back its volunteer workforce, leaving a small group of staff working around the clock to make the daily deliveries.

Chorus Albany’s regional services lead Mark Rich said staff were working hard to ensure they had enough food to reach every client.

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A new partnership with Woolworths starting this week will see Meals on Wheels deliver four rolls of toilet paper to each client.

“Given the average age of our volunteers, it is just safer for them if they are not out and about in the community,” he said.

“The office-based staff are now delivering meals, along with our kitchen hand and chef, so they’ve put aside some of their other duties so they can do the packing and distribution of the meals.”

In response to COVID-19, the Federal Government has made Meals on Wheels available for everyone on a Commonwealth Home Support Program without the need for a reassessment.

Mr Rich said Chorus would continue to provide all its services to isolated seniors through one-on-one visits or phone calls, even though the office was closed.

“Community-based support workers are a special breed of people on any given day but especially during this time to be putting themselves at risk by continuing to provide an essential service,” he said.

“This sort of community-based support sails under the radar and I think they just do a wonderful job.”

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