Muswellbrook Shire Council pair with local clubs to support isolated residents

KEEP COOKING: Muswellbrook Workers' Club kitchen staff Russell Fenn and Daniel Howe will play a key role in providing food for Muswellbrook's vulnerable residents.
KEEP COOKING: Muswellbrook Workers' Club kitchen staff Russell Fenn and Daniel Howe will play a key role in providing food for Muswellbrook's vulnerable residents.

DURING these testing times, it's important that industry and local government work together to not only support each other, but also use their combined resources to make life easier for the wider community.

That is exactly what Muswellbrook Shire Council (MSC) is doing, in collaboration with local clubs, as they keep an eye on residents who are isolated or vulnerable.

For those that are elderly, disabled, homeless or unable to easily acquire the supplies they need for day-to-day life, the current COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions has made life even more difficult.

However the latest initiative by MSC will attempt to address those issues by entering a joint venture with the Muswellbrook RSL and the Workers' Club, which would see free or heavily discounted meals delivered to those in need.

Under the proposal, the Workers' Club would prepare the food and accept over the phone payments, while the RSL would help with administration, advertising and delivery.

Council's role among all this, aside from being the initiator, would be to subsidise some of the costs.

Deputy mayor Rod Scholes said the program was an important step as MSC continue to address the implications of coronavirus.

"We had identified a need to provide cheap meals to those isolated in the community," he said.

"[Which is] more than those who currently fit within the existing government and welfare agencies because isolation has created additional pressures and additional issues."

He drew on his own experience as a carer for his mother as an example of when this would be useful, as he revealed a service like this would make him feel confident she would be able to have a decent meal brought to her.

Another advantage of the project is that it would allow the Workers' Club to keep their kitchen staff employed while social distancing restrictions are still in place.

The exact details of how the deliveries will take place is still unclear as council continues to work with state agencies to clarify what logistics and worker protections are required.

Clubs in Denman have also been involved in the conversations and MSC will announce further updates in regards to them over the coming weeks.

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