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Meals on Wheels serves up $22m Adelaide HQ

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Meals on Wheels SA has begun cooking meals at its new $22 million Hilton centre amid a COVID-19 induced spike in demand.

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Launched this morning, the Sir Donald Bradman Drive development also houses the corporate headquarters of South Australia’s largest community-based volunteer organisation.

It is the biggest capital investment in the history of Meals on Wheels in SA, and replaces the existing central office in Wayville and production kitchen in Kent Town.

All chilled and frozen meals will now be prepared at the Hilton site for delivery to the organisation’s 42 kitchens and regeneration outlets across the state, where volunteers will then hand deliver to customers.

Daily hot meals will continue to be cooked at the 26 local branch kitchens and by hospitals and other suppliers in rural areas.

The new building will allow a four-fold increase in the organisation’s cold store capacity and a 30-kilowatt solar power system.

At today’s unveiling, staff were busy preparing more than 2000 three-course meals comprising a potato and leek soup, a main choice of pork or chicken and a peach-inspired dessert.

Meals on Wheels SA CEO Sharyn Broer said the new facility would allow the organisation to provide a greater variety of meals for more people across the community.

“Through this investment we’ve doubled our production capacity and we have the option to add another shift which can increase capacity fourfold if required,” she said.

“We are especially pleased to introduce more selections for people with special dietary requirements or chewing and swallowing difficulties.

“Our focus still remains on delivering high standards in food quality and safety for our customers as well as providing the friendly smile and wellbeing checks so important in times like these.”

Meals on Wheels in SA is responsible for 80 branches, 7000 volunteers and 60 staff delivering 4000 daily meals and supporting 11,000 people annually.

Broer said there had been a significant rise in demand for Meals on Wheels in recent months.

“I’m very proud of the outstanding efforts from our volunteers and staff given the challenges we’ve all faced from Covid-19,” she said.

“Meals on Wheels has continued to help those in need through all this and today marks another key milestone in our commitment to communities.”

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