Ingredient price rise, but Meals on Wheels' quality will remain

NO COMPROMISE: Bathurst Meals on Wheels management committee president Colin Hope. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
NO COMPROMISE: Bathurst Meals on Wheels management committee president Colin Hope. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

BATHURST Meals on Wheels management committee president Colin Hope says there will be no compromising on the high quality of meals produced by the non-profit organisation even as prices for certain ingredients rise due to the drought.

Meals on Wheels, which has been operating in Bathurst since 1964, produces more than 400,000 meals annually for frail, aged and less able clients across a wide area of NSW, including Oberon.

It makes roughly 1600 meals a day and almost 8000 a week for people living as far west as Lake Cargelligo and as far east as Cronulla.


Because of the drought, the price of meals might increase, meaning Meals on Wheels will try to seek out government drought relief funds.

"For several years now, as part of our regular operations, the management committee of Bathurst Meals on Wheels has been very aware of the impact drought and other weather phenomenon has had on some of the food items we use in our production," Mr Hope said.

"In the past 12 months, the drought in NSW and then recent rains in the farming areas in northern Australia have combined to spike the prices of certain ingredients.

"As is the normal process, we reviewed our monthly production and cost management outcomes at our management committee meeting last week and, as one of the actions we took, we resolved to seek out any government-funded drought relief to offset the cost increases that all households in Australia are currently facing."

Mr Hope said any extraordinary increases in cost of production will be met from Meals on Wheels' reserves in the short term and, possibly, price increases in the longer term, subject to competitive pressures from other meal providers.

"It would be financially irresponsible not to take all steps available to us to prevent a reduction of our reserves, which are there to ensure we maintain the highest possible quality of meals and thus protect our clients in circumstances such as these," he said.

"What is key for us is that we've got a range of local ingredients suppliers that will work with us to get the best prices.

"We are extremely lucky we have got these great suppliers; they're marvellous, fabulous people."

Meals on Wheels delivers in Oberon on Mondays.

The local contact person is Megan Slovic, 6336 0712 or 0407 859 902.