Parramatta Meals on Wheels expansion plans

MEALS on Wheels (MOW) Parramatta will expand into empty retail space next to its Hunter Street premises to cater for growing demand.

Last week, councillors approved a MOW request to expand into a vacant, council-owned shop next door to its present Hunter Street address.

MOW will occupy the shop rent-free until June 30, 2015, with a three-month notice period to vacate if a paying tenant can be found before then. A council report says MOW needs more space for food preparation, volunteer training and extra fridge and freezer capacity to store more meals.

The report also says that funding for MOW beyond June 2015 is uncertain due to "significant changes in the aged care and disability service industry".

Asked whether MOW was likely to lose funding from 2015, a council spokeswoman said: "While that's a matter for the commonwealth and state governments, we believe this is a valuable service and the council will work to ensure this support continues into the future."

MOW Parramatta receives 65 per cent of its funding through state and Commonwealth grants and 35 per cent through a council contribution of just over $200,000 a year.

More than 250 people are on the books for deliveries of meals and provision of support, up from 200 clients four years ago. About 50 volunteers help to deliver meals.

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