Snapshot of MOW services COVID-19 response in Victoria

Meals on Wheels Victoria Service Mapping Report – April 2020   June 2020

Including impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

The following report is a summary of the data collected and entered into a new excel spreadsheet entitled, Meals on Wheels Victoria Mapping Data April 2020. All Victorian Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) Meals on Wheels (MOW) providers were contacted in all 79 LG municipalities and all provided data. The process served 3 main purposes:

  1. To map all Victorian MOW services to determine any service provision gaps, to update contact details, and to collect baseline data in relation to clients, meals and volunteers (a set of data to be built on).
  2. To determine the impact of Covid-19 within the sector
  3. To talk with all service providers with a view to further engagement aligned with strategic planning and sector development by MOW Victoria, MOWA and other stakeholders.

A second report teasing out sector issues and suggested actions will follow shortly.

Data Snapshot

Local Government Areas

– There are 79 Local Governments in Victoria (31 Metro, 48 Rural)

– All 79 municipalities currently have a CHSP MOW Service

CHSP Auspice Organisations

  • Local Government is the Auspice for the majority of CHSP MOW Services
  • 14 non-LG Auspice organisations cover the rest (1 auspice organisation covers 3 LG areas, 1 covers 2 LG areas, all the others cover 1 whole LG area, or part of one.
  • East Gippsland Shire has 4 auspice organisations, Stonnington has 3, La Trobe has 2
  • 3 LG’s indicated that they will soon cease being providers of CHSP services, 2 are about to announce the organisations they are handing over to, 1 indicated they were ceasing providing Meals on Wheels post Covid-19 with no indication they were lining up an organisation to continue providing the service.

Food Provision Organisations

  • There are 88 organisations that cook meals, in some instances they also organise delivery.
  • Community Chef is the largest producer, servicing 4 rural and 16 metro Councils
  • The remainder are provided by health care organisations (hospitals/residential care), local government kitchens and private catering companies

Covid-19 impact

Number of CHSP MOW Clients in Victoria

Early Feb = 8543      April = 10,459

22% increase

Only a handful of services recorded a decline in client numbers. Many stated that a proportion of new clients came from users of dinning room meals and other socialisation programs.

Number of CHSP Meals delivered in Victoria per week

First week of Feb = 27,329    One week in April = 35,045

28% increase

The figures were collected over a four-week period, with contacts asked to provide statistics from ‘the previous week in April’. Towards mid to late April most reported that they seemed to have reached the peak of demand.


Most organisations indicated that they had replaced volunteers with paid staff in early March, some were using a combination (based on age of volunteers) and a significant portion only use paid staff in normal circumstances.

Emergency Covid-19 Subsidy

Not all of the contacts could provide this information, but most could.

27 opted for 50%, 32 applied for 100%. 6 applied for somewhere between 50% and 100%

A significant number of comments indicated that quite a few were below their targets, hence not applying for higher than 50%

Other data

Approximate number of volunteers in Victoria = 4966

Majority of service providers deliver 5 days, with the option to provide weekend meals, a small number deliver 7 days, some 3, some once (usually due to distance / remote areas)