Apetito and Hampshire County Council are celebrating a three year partnership this April.
Apetito have provided the Meals on Wheels service on behalf of Hampshire County Council since April 2013, with over 1,500 people regularly receiving this vital service. Anyone aged over 55 who has difficulty preparing meals, either because of ill health or disability, can sign up to receive a one off, or regular hot lunch, as well as afternoon tea.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said, “This week it’s national Nutrition and Hydration Week which highlights the importance of food and drink as an essential component to physical and mental well-being. Good nutrition and hydration help to build up energy reserves which can really help people to stay well, especially during the cold and wet winter months.”
During the past three years, the take up of Meals on Wheels has risen by 55 per cent In the past year alone, some 5,000 people have received Meals on Wheels support. Firm favourites on the menu, continue to be Cottage Pie and Roast Beef, although some customers are keen to try something more adventurous like the delicious Chicken Curry. Top picks for dessert include apple pie, rhubarb crumble and apple and blackberry crumble.
James Maxwell, Service Centre Manager for Apetito, said: “During the past three years, our service has gone from strength to strength. We have a large number of regular customers enjoying our meals, but also a continuous flow of new customers who require short term support, following a stay in hospital for example. Our work with Hampshire County Council continues to ensure that the county’s most vulnerable residents have access to good quality healthy meals should they need it.”
Meals on Wheels customers can also benefit from the County Council’s Food and Friendship Service, delivered by Age Concern Hampshire, which provides vital social contact for many vulnerable older and disabled people who might otherwise not see anyone from one day to the next.
From April 1 2016, the cost per meal will increase by 15p from £3.80 to £3.95. The cost of an afternoon tea, which includes a savoury pastry, a sandwich, a piece of cake plus a serving of fruit will remain the same at £3.25.
Meals on Wheels are available 365 days of the year, delivered directly to a person’s door. The service is also there as support at times of particular need, for example returning home from hospital. Meals can be ordered from one to seven days per week. Anyone who is interested should contact 01962 779 338 or complete an online application at www.hants.gov.uk/meals-on-wheels