Meals On Wheels
FAQ's meals on wheels

Who can get Meals on Wheels? If someone is frail, aged (over 65yrs or 50yrs for ATSI) or has a permanent disability (NDIS) or is a carer, they are eligible to access Meals on Wheels at subsidized rates. Anyone can access our Meals on Wheels service through our private prices.

Do you have to be referred by your doctor? No, you do not need a doctors referral to access our service. You can refer yourself, or a friend, family member, doctor, community or health worker can request the service on your behalf. You can also access the service through My Aged Care, your Home Care Provider or NDIS Support Worker. If you are Aged and not registered with My Aged Care- you can still access our service, whilst we complete the referral on your behalf.

How do I apply to get Meals on Wheels? If you wish to apply to My Aged Care yourself you can contact them on 1800 200 422 or alternatively you can complete our referral form online or contact your local branch direct. If you have a disability- please talk to your Care Support Worker, or contact the National Disability Insurance Scheme on 1800 800 110.

How long does it take to access the service? If you are Aged; you can access our service straight away- whilst we wait for My Aged Care to complete your registration. There can be a delay in receiving your meal choices- as fresh is ordered a week in advance & frozen two weeks in advance. If you are NDIS- we will require to arrange a quote and service booking and submit to NDIS for approval before you can receive meals.

What type of food is available, is there choices? We have full day menu on offer through our fresh range including; Breakfasts, Snacks, Soups, Light Lunches, Mini Meals, Main Meals & Desserts. Similar lines can be purchased in our frozen menu- if you wish to receive a bulk delivery. Our fresh menu is a seasonal 4week rotating menu, offering up to two breakfast lines, four meals and 3 desserts per day. Our fresh meals and Nuovo brand frozen meals are cooked at our Tom Griffith’s Catering Centre at Tighes Hill. Our fresh meals are cooked using the “cook chilled” method and transported to branches to be plated by volunteers and delivered to you. These meals have a 2-3 day shelf life (check labels for use by date). If you are a small eater we recommend you trying our “mini” meal size and if you require a bigger meal contact your coordinator to swap your menu choices over to “main size”

What if I have dietary requirements? We have a large variety of fresh and frozen meals to cater for a wide variety of dietary needs including: Gluten Intolerances, Vegetarian, Low Carbohydrates, Low Potassium, Low Sodium as well as texture modifications including Cut-Up, Minced and Puree. Please ask your coordinator for assistance if you are unsure what you can order.

When will I get my meals? Volunteers deliver meals Monday, Wednesday and Friday meals- unfortunately we can’t guarantee delivery time, however drivers normally deliver in a window of 2hrs departing their branch between 8:30-9:30 (dependent on branch- you can confirm approx. time with your coordinator at time of sign up). You can order extra meals for the other days (ie- Monday order can cover Monday & Tuesday). For weekends you can order fresh meals for Friday delivery or frozen meals. Public holidays & Christmas Closures you will be supplied frozen meals. Meals CANNOT be left in eskies if you are not home. Our volunteers are required to deliver the meals to you in person or to a friend/family or neighbour if arrangements have been organised with your branch coordinator if you are not going to be home

What does it cost? As we have a variety of ways you can access our service, the costing varies. Majority of our Aged Clients access our service through My Aged Care using the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)- this allows you to access our meals at cost price $5.50 (main), which is subsidized with government funding. If you have a Home Care Package, you are entitled to use your package to access our meals at a cheaper rate- with mains costing $3.75 & your provider will be invoiced monthly for preparation & delivery. If you are accessing our service through NDIS, we will access funds through your plan to cover preparation and delivery with your direct cost being $3 per main. Anyone can access our Meals, we have private rates which equate to $8.50 per meal.

How do I pay for meals? When you join, you will be asked your invoicing preference- this can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Our delivery drivers carry a small float, and collect money at time of invoice is issued. Alternatively you can pay cheque, bank transfer or credit card- via phone or website (coming 2021)

Is Meals on Wheels a government service? No, Newcastle Meals on Wheels is a not for profit community -based volunteer organisation with oversight by a volunteer Board. The costs of meals (food cost) is primarily charged to clients- the administration, preparation and running of service is cover from Government funding (Commonwealth Home Support Programme), and Community Organisation Grants.

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