New Zealand Red Cross Meals on Wheels volunteer programme

New Zealand Red Cross Meals on Wheels service has been around for more than 70 years. What began in June 1951 in North Canterbury with volunteers preparing and distributing soup for people in need during a gas, coal and electricity shortage, has developed into a service in 33 locations across the country, with 3,000 volunteers.

Now, Meals on Wheels deliver around 620,000 hot meals a year – that’s nearly 12,000 every week.

More than just a carrier of hot meals, we deliver independence to many elderly and disabled people, as well as those recovering from illness or hospital treatment.

When the country went into lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, the NZ government deemed the Meals on Wheels an essential service.

This meant our volunteers were able to deliver more that 103,500 meals to isolated people and more importantly were able bring comfort and stability to some people who may have been feeling lonely and disconnected from their community during a time of great uncertainty.

At this time recipients also received a Red Cross parcel which contained a range of essential goods including hygiene items, edible treats, blankets and wellbeing resources.

Now more than ever we are urgently looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals all around New Zealand. Apply now to make a difference in your community.

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, Meals on Wheels is one of our longest standing and most recognised community programmes.

When we need from you

  • Most of our volunteers deliver meals once every two-to-four weeks.
  • We need volunteer drivers on weekdays around lunchtime.
  • You will start your shift between 10.30am and 12 noon depending on the location and route.
  • You will usually take between 1 and 2 hours to drive your delivery route.
  • The time on the road varies by location and route. It can also vary each shift depending on the number of meals you are delivering and the traffic conditions.
  • Requirements for meals on wheels volunteer drivers
  • Your own vehicle
  • Valid full driver’s licence
  • Ability to pass an NZ Police Vetting check

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