2021 Winner - Bega Valley Meals on Wheels
Congratulations to Bega Meals on Wheels one of  two Innovation Award winners for 2021, Bega Valley Meals on Wheels – “Mobile Meals on Wheels”. 

The 2019-20 bushfire season saw unprecedented, destructive bushfires across New South Wales (NSW).  Approximately 400,000 hectares or 60 percent of the Bega Valley Shire was burnt, with more than 600 dwellings and 1000 other structures either damaged or destroyed. Whilst the most distressing loss was that of four lives, the extensive destruction of dwellings, environment, infrastructure, and the economy have also had considerable impact throughout the Shire.

Bega Valley Meals on Wheels kept working through the bushfires, the subsequent local floods and COVID 19. It’s been a difficult time. Being prepared for natural disasters is now embedded into our organisation. This ensures BVMOW is in a stronger position to reduce the impact of future threats and be in a far stronger position to recover quickly after the event. BVMOW is resilient.

A grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) provided Bega Valley Meals on Wheels with the funds to purchase a Mobile Freezer Trailer. FRRR is a not-for-profit organisation, that connect common purposes and funding from government, business and philanthropy with the genuine local needs of rural people and places. A big part of their job is to listen and build understanding, to amplify local voices, as well as facilitate funding to meet opportunities.                                
The FRRR funding changes the way Bega Valley Meals on Wheels operates. We can now evacuate our offices, activity and distribution centre and relocate to a secure zone somewhere else in the shire and keep operating safely. Using mobile telephones, computers and the internet our operations are now fully flexible and responsive to natural disasters. The mobile freezer is designed to be used in any location with a normal household power supply, refrigeration on the go. During natural disasters, it is a practical and affordable solution.