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Omnicare Meals Service on the move in Port Macquarie

A pillar of the Port Macquarie community is giving an alternative meaning to the term ‘moveable feast’.

A new era has begun for staff and volunteers at Omnicare Meals Service’s Hastings Port Macquarie branch after uprooting to a location in the industrial area.

The service is taking up residence at its new home, Unit 10, 35 Merrigal Road, having operated at the Garden Village complex (off Hastings River Drive) since the 1980s.

Omnicare’s Head of Meals Service, Alvena Ferguson, said the move had gone well.

“It has been a big logistical operation to get us set up at our wonderful new surroundings,” she said.

“Our landlord has carried out modifications to the space that allow us to set up the packing and dispatch of meals for hundreds of clients locally, as well as an area for our branch staff to undertake their admin duties.

“We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Garden Village. Their kitchens continue to supply us with meals for our clients in the area.”

Senior Branch Officer Tamara King said the service had been disrupted for only two days to accommodate the move.

“We did extra deliveries before and after the move, so none of our clients missed out on their meals,” she said.

“The new premises are great, there’s plenty of space. The facilities work well for us.

“Our volunteers have been very accommodating and patient, as usual. They’ve also adapted very well to our pandemic measures.”

In March, Omnicare Meals Service began operating contactless delivery, rather than entering homes. Volunteers and staff have been checking on clients’ wellbeing by phone and ensuring they collect their meals within minutes of the drop-offs.

More recently, as health authorities’ guidelines eased, there has been a resumption of entering homes – on request. Omnicare has mandated the wearing of masks for volunteers coming into contact with clients.

As a registered Covid Safe Business, all Omnicare staff and volunteers have been completing online training in coronavirus infection control.

A grant from Essential Energy, has helped fund this mandatory training.