NSW Minister for Ageing, Ms Tanya Davies, has announced a $17,980 grant to go toward a pilot program to enable older people to stay with their much-loved pets for longer.
The ‘Meals on Wheels for Furry Friends’ pilot program, an initiative of Tuggerah-based Meals On Wheels Central Coast, will see volunteers deliver low-cost, nutritious pet food to elderly pet-owners across the region.
“Some older people find the needs of their pets overwhelming, but pet ownership has proven health benefits, both physical and mental,” Mrs Davies said while launching the program at Tuggerah.
“This funding will enable seniors in the community to better care for their pets, continuing the companionship for as long as possible.”
Delivery will begin next month and initially reach more than 150 senior residents living in the Central Coast region.
“Meals on Wheels work tirelessly to improve the lives of older people and their valuable contribution is highly deserving of this funding,” Mrs Davies said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, congratulated Meals on Wheels for their contribution to the local community.
“The ‘Furry Friends’ initiative is a brilliant idea which will make the Central Coast even more liveable for older people.
“I look forward to seeing the positive impact the program makes,” Mr MacDonald said.
This year, Meals on Wheels Central Coast are celebrating 50 years of providing nutritious meals to older people in the community, allowing them to continue living independently.
CEO Dennis Taylor said he was thrilled to receive the grant.
“The love and support that pets give is immeasurable and while our volunteers provide a great service they can’t be with our clients 24 hours a day.
“It is important to our clients that their pets are kept healthy and this initiative shows we are here to serve the community and are more than just a meal,” Mr Taylor said.
The funding was made available through the NSW Government’s Liveable Communities Grants.
Mar 13, 2017
Elizabeth Williams, Office of Tanya Davies