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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Meals on Wheels is a name familiar to Australians and is at the heart of many communities representing helping hands, teamwork and looking out for each other.

This week Manly’s Meals on Wheels Community Restaurant celebrated 21 years of joining forces to help others provide a nutritious meal and an opportunity to make new friends.

While the Meals on Wheel organisation was first incepted over 60 years ago to deliver meals to the homes of those with reduced capacity like the elderly and disabled, it has now become a driving force of care in the community

In NSW alone, about 4.5 million meals are delivered by 35,000 volunteers each year.

Since its first restaurant opening at the Manly Senior Citizens Centre on Pittwater Road in 1997, Manly Meals on Wheels has gone on to expand their service at Manly Town Hall, The Corso (at St. Matthew's Church Hall), and Seaforth Sporting and Community Pavilion.

Local attendee, Charles Sumpter from Balgowlah, has been attending the St. Matthews Church Hall since arriving in Australia from the United Kingdom five years ago.

Mr Sumpter gave a speech at this week’s birthday lunch at Manly Town Hall on Tuesday 31 July.

The 92-year-old said social isolation is often a real issue for the elderly but having a weekly event such as Meals on Wheels to attend gave people something to look forward to.

“It’s nice to have a meal with someone when you’re living on your own. You get a bit fed up with talking to yourself so it’s lovely to share a meal with someone,” he said.

Mr Sumpter praised Council staff and volunteers for welcoming him into their community.

“I think Manly Meals on Wheels do an extremely fine job and are an overwhelming example of caring for people. I am very grateful to all of them. Congratulations on your 21st, may it long continue.” Mr Sumpter said.

Manly Meals on Wheels offer a weekly three-course lunch for only $10 for many regular patrons, but an open door policy means new people are always welcome. To find out what days, time and transport options are available call 9976 1469 or go to northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au