WELCOME SERVICE: Casino resident Jim Mead accepts Meals on Wheels from Richmond Valley Council volunteers Hayley Hancock and Meg Zeller, who is presenting a free Northern Star as part of a special sponsorship arrangement.
WELCOME SERVICE: Casino resident Jim Mead accepts Meals on Wheels from Richmond Valley Council volunteers Hayley Hancock and Meg Zeller, who is presenting a free Northern Star as part of a special sponsorship arrangement. Jamie Brown

Meals on Wheels: Good feed and a good read

FOR Casino resident Jim Mead, a daily dinner from Meals on Wheels is more than a good feed.

The delivery of his balanced and nutritious meal also comes with a chat and a laugh and, most recently, a free copy of the Northern Star, thanks to sponsorship from Richmond Valley Council.

Healthy balance

Jim spent most of his working life tending the Mallanganee store but finds the easy nutrition of a delivered meal helps to keep his health in balance.

"It makes a big difference in my diet," he explained. "It makes me feel good."

Of course, having the dinner delivered by attractive young women certainly helps his vigour and, with eyes gleaming, he was all too willing to start up a conversation with two volunteers.

"What's your name?" he asked a Richmond Valley Council volunteer.

"Hayley Hancock," she said.

"You're not the daughter of Ronnie?"

"Indeed," she replied.

Up for a chat

And with that, Jim reeled off a ripper yarn about the days when he was working on the Tenterfield Rd and became the target of wrath from a square-headed German.

They both agreed to settle the matter once and for all - with a 10-pound wager to the winner.

Hayley's father volunteered to referee and away the pair went, the German "swinging like a rusty gate" and Jim ducking and weaving and splitting the big German's lip before the work foreman called it a draw.

So, you see, a delivered meal is much more than a feed - it is a chance to socialise and reminisce.

Great yarns

Jim had more to tell - saying his father Arthur, the son of a "soldier of fortune" married his German immigrant sweetheart Frederica in Armidale and the pair lived a life mining tin at Tingha.

Arthur eventually became a foreman at the Copeton diamond mine - now submerged under the dam of the same name.

Meals on Wheels co-ordinator Alyson Yates said the service was "fit for the future" with government support and a resilient volunteer base.

With a push to keep elderly people in their homes for longer, Meals on Wheels helps to ensure better health among those who might take shortcuts with nutrition.

Phone Alyson on 6662 1217 for information.



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