Striking a chord with homeless
MARIST College teacher Steve Melody is a member of the Salvation Army and runs Meals on the Move - a ministry that assists disadvantaged people throughout the Emerald community.
Steve has been doing Meals on the Move for four years, although he has been a proud member of the Salvation Army for eight years.
When he started he was cooking 80 meals per week on his own.
Now Steve has a number of volunteer cooks to help prepare meals, which are nutritionally balanced and are low in fat, sugar and salt.
With another Salvation Army soldier, he delivered the food on Mondays and Fridays, but now just delivers on Friday afternoons by himself, making 12 to 15 stops.
“Feeding the homeless along the Nogoa Riverbank is the most interesting part of my Friday,” he said.
“I have to dodge the odd golf ball overshooting the golf course and the going is pretty tough - the track is a bit like the Kokoda Trail.”
On top of all the meals, he also provides the needy with other necessities including bread and milk, supplementing their diets to meet their needs.
“I also monitor their health and wellbeing and if necessary I seek intervention from other agencies, for example, doctors, hospitals and counsellors” Steve said.
He also just talks to them because he may be the only person they get to talk to in a week.
“All the money needed to buy the ingredients for these nutritious meals comes from donations from the local community,” Steve said.
At the moment, Steve and his volunteers are on a very tight budget to provide these meals every week.
“If people feel the need to donate to a worthy cause, just remember that 100% of your donations go directly to help the local people,” Steve said.