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Cooking fundraiser to aid Meals on Wheels

November 3, 2023 November 2023 No Comments

Wharekaka Auxiliary, the key group behind the area’s Meals-0n-Wheels programme, is mounting a Christmas Cooking fundraiser, seeking $2,000 in extra cash to cover the current operating deficit and expand its daily meal offering.

Chairperson Esther Read said the group hopes the fundraiser “will shore up the deficit” as they also want to expand the numbers of meals delivered to customers in Martinborough, Greytown and Featherston from the Wharekaka commercial kitchen facility. 

Currently, the group delivers 600 hot meals every month, using volunteer drivers across the region.

There is a paid cook, with other costs including “(electric) power as well as the food,” although some food and fruit is donated by supporters.

“It’s not a huge deficit, but it’s there,” Read told The Star, despite support from Masonic Lodge, Rotary and a contract with health provider Te Whatu Ora that provides a subsidy of nearly $5.00 a meal.

“The quality of the meals is outstanding and they are very eagerly looked forward to. This is a hugely worthwhile service.” 

“Wharekaka Auxiliary continues to fundraise to keep this valuable service going and we are pleased that we are once again offering our wonderful Christmas baking,” she added. 

The Christmas Cooking fundraiser will offer mini Christmas cakes, Christmas mince pies, shortbread, merangues and Italian almond biscuits, Read said.  

The service has not yet reached break-even so the Auxiliary volunteers, long term supporter of Wharekaka, have continued to fundraise to assist Masonic Trust meet the shortfall and to support the undertaking, including through the purchase of high-quality insulated food bags. 

Wharekaka Meals-on-Wheels has the capacity to feed even more customers, which would bring the service closer to break-even. 

This is not a service that is just for the frail elderly, the group noted in a statement. 

Booking a meal could be considered: after a hospital discharge; for someone struggling to cook nutritious meals; for someone temporarily disabled through an accident; to reassure the family worried that someone is not eating well;  to help a family or individual through a crisis.

“Mate, Martinborough,” a self-admitted toast-burner,  offered his commendation of the project: “The quality and variety of the meals is superb, a credit to cook Maddie and they provide me with a good level of nutrition. 

“What makes a big difference for me is that unlike off-the-shelf ready meals, they are delivered hot and ready to eat. I recommend it wholeheartedly.”

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