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Meals on Wheels celebrated.



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THE HON JUSTINE ELLIOT MP

Minister for Ageing

SENATOR THE HON URSULA STEPHENS

Parliamentary Secretary for the Voluntary Sector

MEDIA RELEASE

26 August 2009

Meals on Wheels Celebrated

The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, and the Parliamentary Secretary for the Voluntary Sector, Ursula Stephens, today acknowledged the contribution of Meals on Wheels in our communities as the organisation celebrated ‘Meals on Wheels Day’ around the nation.

More than 78,000 Meals on Wheels volunteers across Australia donate not only their time but their vehicles when they help deliver food to our most vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians.

Meals on Wheels volunteers donate their time, skills and understanding to deliver nutritious meals and provide social contact for isolated and house-bound people, including the homeless, children at risk, and older Australians.

Meals on Wheels began 55 years ago providing meals to eight people. Today it provides on average more than 50,000 meals to people throughout the country every day.

Last year 139 Meals on Wheels organisations received more than $349,000 funding to help volunteers across Australia cover fuel costs and small equipment used to help others in the community.

To recognise the invaluable contribution made by volunteers, the Rudd Government is distributing a further $21 million across Australia in the 2009 round of volunteer grants.

More than 7000 organisations and 900,000 volunteers will benefit from grants up $1000 up to $5000.

Funding applications for the Volunteer Grants 2009 round are currently open until 25 September 2009.

Volunteers play a vital role in our local communities, and volunteering is even more important in these challenging economic times.

We recognise that volunteering often comes at a cost and volunteers may be left out-of-pocket when using their cars. That’s why, under the Volunteer Grants initiative, organisations can apply for funding to assist with reimbursing fuel costs for volunteers.

The volunteer grants also allow non-profit organisations to purchase small equipment items to help their existing volunteers and encourage new ones.

Volunteer Grants are just one way that the Australian Government can thank our volunteers for their tireless work and commitment to making our community a better place.

Information about Volunteer Grants 2009, including the online application form is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au or by calling the toll-free Hotline on 1800 183 374.

For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280