Red Cross needs more meals on wheels drivers

Red Cross administrator Nazmeen Ismil, left, and meals on wheels co-ordinator Dianne Tinworth are on the hunt for more drivers.
WARWCK SMITH/STUFF
Red Cross administrator Nazmeen Ismil, left, and meals on wheels co-ordinator Dianne Tinworth are on the hunt for more drivers.

Red Cross Palmerston North is on the hunt for more meals on wheels drivers to deliver food to the elderly.

A lot of Red Cross meals on wheels drivers are unavailable because they are aged over 70 and have been advised by the Government to isolate themselves due to the coronavirus threat.

Meals on wheels is an essential service and will continue during the lockdown, so Red Cross needs more drivers to do the crucial job getting food to older folk stuck inside.

Red Cross manager Antoinette Stratford said it wanted wanted more volunteer drivers, but the drivers would have to provide their details and do a police check. 

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"A lot of our meals on wheels drivers are over 70. But we've had a lot of interest from people in the community saying 'I would love to help, I'm no longer being a teacher and would love to help'."

She said of the 140 Palmerston North drivers, about 80 per cent of them were aged over 70.

A Red Cross spokeswoman said the organisation would first look to replace drivers with people in their recognised pool across the country, then would look for volunteers to fill the gaps.

The job requires a couple of hours in the middle of the day, where drivers have to collect the meals from the hospital then deliver the food.

Red Cross is making sure its drivers are careful when delivering meals, keeping their distance, not making contact with people and leaving meals on doorsteps.

About 45 Palmerston North drivers are in action each day.

People who are interested can contact Red Cross on manawatu@redcross.org.nz or 06 351 0510.

Stuff