The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has today launched a social media campaign to celebrate the magnificent work of the frontline Meals on Wheels services across the country and to say a big thank you to everyone involved.
#mealsonwheelsheroes gives Meals on Wheels teams up and down the country the recognition, praise and thanks they deserve as part of the Covid-19 frontline effort, and also for the vital lifeline they offer the elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community all year round.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant the number of vulnerable people living in the community, confined to their own homes and reliant on others, increased significantly, almost overnight. In response, an army of Meals on Wheels heroes stepped up to ensure demand for this essential lifeline was met.
From established meals on wheels services to the lunch clubs unable to welcome their guests and the closed pubs, restaurants and cafés that transferred their skill and facilities, to mention just a few, they’ve all worked tirelessly to deliver delicious, nutritious food to those in need. They’ve also innovated to ensure those that are isolated benefit mentally and emotionally from a friendly smile, a wellbeing check and the simple pleasure of a chat – all within the social distancing guidelines.
The NACC is calling on everyone – from its members, industry colleagues, partners, associations and friends to local government, politicians, celebrities and the general public – to take to social media to publicly declare their support and gratitude for all Meals on Wheels heroes. It’s asking everyone to post photographs of themselves with a special #mealsonwheelsheroes thank you message for all their followers to see, like, share and recreate.
It’s very simple to take part:
Have your photograph taken holding the special thank you poster (downloadable from the NACC website). There’s a choice of thanking the Meals on Wheels heroes or proudly showing you are a Meals on Wheels hero.
Post the image on all your social media platforms, ensuring the hashtags #mealsonwheelsheroes and #morethanjustameal are included and tagging in the NACC as follows: Twitter @NACCCaterCare, FaceBook TheNACCCaterCare, Instagram nacccatercare or LinkedIn thenacc. Suggested wording for posts can also be found on the website.
The campaign begins on 1st October 2020 – which also happens to be the International Day for Older Persons – and will culminate with NACC Meals on Wheels Week 2020, 2nd - 6th November 2020.
#mealsonwheelsheroes has already gained strong support from across the industry and beyond. NACC executive officers and members, chairs of key associations (including TUCO, APSE, ASSIST, HCA and LACA), and even some high-profile personalities are backing the movement.
Sue Cawthray, national chair, NACC, said, “The pandemic has highlighted a need that’s always been there. The elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community are at risk of malnutrition and social isolation. These issues existed long before Covid-19 became part of our everyday language, but they have been exacerbated and spotlighted by the pandemic.
'Talking to our members, the onset of lockdown brought about an increase in demand of up to 30%. As it became difficult for care teams to visit clients or relatives to support their loved ones, the vital role Meals on Wheels services play in the community gained greater recognition. As well as delivering a daily nutritious meal, it also delivered important wellbeing checks and a friendly face to break the loneliness, which was intensified by lockdown.
“The value of the Meals on Wheels services in alleviating malnutrition and social isolation must not be underestimated and we’re determined to spread our recognition and thanks far and wide. We’ll be championing the #mealsonwheelsheroes campaign right up until Meals on Wheels Week 2020 and beyond to ensure the resurgence in awareness and respect for the service continues.”
Neel Radia, Meals on Wheels project lead for the NACC, said, “Quite frankly, I’d hate to imagine the plight of the elderly and vulnerable in the community throughout the pandemic if Meals on Wheels services didn’t exist.
'From established providers to those born out of the pandemic response, the innovation and dedication to find solutions to challenges, including increased demand, social distancing, and supply and staff shortages, has been amazing, with each one having the incredibly positive result of providing a life-quality-enhancing lifeline to the elderly and vulnerable in uncertain, frightening and often lonely times.
“It’s so important that we don’t allow their incredible contribution to be forgotten. We ask everyone to show their appreciation for the wonderful Meals on Wheels service by supporting the #mealsonwheelsheroes campaign and getting their colleagues, friends and families involved too!”