Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels began in Tasmania in 1955 when Mrs EM Cuthbert delivered meals purchased from a commercial source to a small number of sick and elderly in the Hobart community. Additional groups were established throughout the island as demand increased. The 1975 collapse of the Tasman Bridge was the catalyst for the formation of an independent group when the Eastern Shore – then receiving meals from Hobart – was isolated.
In addition to groups administered by the Red Cross, in 2004 there were 32 autonomous bodies in the Meals on Wheels Association of Tasmania. Volunteers deliver three-course meals five days a week to those who through sickness, age or disability cannot cater for themselves. The service is partly subsidised under a joint state and commonwealth programme.
Further reading: G MacFarlane, The first twenty years, Hobart, 1989; National Food Services, Proceedings, Hobart, 1993.