By DEBORAH JOHNSTON
TENDER Loving Cuisine is an organisation, which delivers healthy meals to the elderly throughout Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast and is manned by a group of go-ahead veterans aged 60-plus. This team of livewire "oldies" is throwing down the challenge to the more established organisations by providing a unique home delivery service.
Headed by 65-year-old chief executive Jack Barker and 62-year-old client services manager John Rowland, Tender Loving Cuisine has the Heart Foundation Tick of approval, diabetes approval and HACCP certification and has just launched its online ordering system.
Not bad for an organisation which had just two people in 2000. Mr. Rowland?s appointment at Tender Loving Cuisine (TLC) is still regarded by CEO Barker as a crucial turning point in his organisation's fortunes. "Once John agreed to join in 2000, I was then able to be more selective to only appoint those sharing my vision, and who had the essential attribute of care and compassion for other seniors," Mr Barker said.
Fellow TLC staffer Kevin Tallentire, also 62, has been making a difference in people's lives all through his working life. As environmental co-ordinator for Coca Cola Amatil, Mr Tallentire's role was quality control. "I was involved in several major projects during my thirty-four years with Coca Cola, including the design and building of a multi-million dollar water treatment system." Now, in his new role with TLC, Mr Tallentire is still making a difference by helping in the development of quality control systems and as a member of the client services team, building rapport with the organisation's elderly clientele.
Couriers like Kathleen Kinchington who has been delivering meals to the elderly of the lower North Shore for the past eight and a half years, said: "By providing healthy, nutritious meals to the elderly it allows them to live at home longer." "I get more out of it then I put into it. Twice a week I get to visit with my friends. Many of those I visit are terrified of going into a nursing home. When they get their meals home delivered it cuts down on a lot of stress."
Tender Loving Cuisine was born in 1995 when a close friend of Jack Barker had a car accident causing serious brain damage. To help out, Mr Barker arranged meals for the family during his recovery.
Copyright, NORTH SHORE TIMES