Nod to volunteers as meal providers receive a funding boost
The Australian Government will increase the minimum meals unit price to $7.50 to help aged care providers deliver meals to older Australians receiving aged care at home.
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services
Minister for Sport
The Morrison Government will increase the minimum meals unit price to $7.50 to help aged care providers deliver meals to older Australians receiving aged care at home.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck said it was a significant step forward to reinforce the tremendous efforts of food providers which help meet the nutritional needs of an increasing number of older Australians.
“This vital measure puts the health and wellbeing of older Australians first, while strengthening the viability of meal providers across the country,” Minister Colbeck said.
The mechanism will see the minimum unit price of $4.90 paid to providers lifted by $2.60.
The changes are expected to be implemented over the course of 2021-22.
It amounts to a $7 million funding injection under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
The CHSP provides home support to Australians aged 65 years and over (or 50 years and over for Indigenous Australians) living at home and in their own communities.
Meals are delivered under the CHSP to ensure food security and nutritional and social benefits for older Australians.
In 2020-21, there are 571 meals providers funded by the Australian Government to deliver 11.5 million meals across Australia.
One provider alone, Meals on Wheels, has been operating in hundreds of metropolitan and rural communities nationally for more than 60 years.
More than 10 million meals every year are delivered with the support of more than 76,000 Meals on Wheels volunteers.
As part of National Volunteer Week, Minister Colbeck acknowledged the efforts of volunteers across the aged care sector – from those caring for loved ones at home to those who give their time to ensure older and vulnerable Australians receive good food and nutrition.
“Volunteers are the backbone of Australia – but across the aged care sector, each and every day there are remarkable examples from people who put the needs of others ahead of their own,” Minister Colbeck said.
“These people are ultimately providing an important mechanism for older Australians to stay connected, healthy and happy.
“Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of people volunteer their time to improve the lives of others.”