Funding puts extra service on the menu

UP to 100 extra older people will be able to access Orange City Council’s Meals on Wheels food services and neighbour aid programs thanks to an injection of funds from the federal government.

Currently around 360 older people benefit from the programs operated by the Home and Community Care (HACC) Centre designed to help people remain connected to the community while continuing to live in their own homes. 

The council was one of several agencies in Calare to share $1.1 million in funding.

The funds will allow the council’s services to deliver 2000 extra meals each year and 1600 more hours of social support.

“Orange City Council already runs a Neighbour Aid program which helps Orange’s older residents to live with confidence in their homes through measures like regular phone-calls, help with shopping and a visiting scheme,” council spokesman Allan Reeder said.

“It’s envisaged these programs, which often rely on volunteers, will be able to be expanded.

“Extra funding for Meals On Wheels may lead to a broader variety of food for older people living in their homes.”

The funds also provide for 3000 one-way community transport trips.

Currently the council does not provide transport services, but relies on buses and cars managed by others, Mr Reeder said.

“The plan is to complement and boost the transport services already delivered by other agencies in Orange,” he said. 

“How that will happen is yet to be decided.

“Orange has a good system of community transport, but this funding will help the council further develop these services to help older residents travel around the community.”

Mr Reeder said the extra transport funding may allow the council to operate a transport service at a different time to those of existing agencies or when an others are busy.

He said the injection of funds showed how councils can confidently deliver valuable services to people in need in partnership with the federal government.

clare.colley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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