The award-winning national awareness event, Meals on Wheels Week returns 31 October to 4 November, organised by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC).
The event raises awareness of and celebrates Meals on Wheels services across the country and the vital role they play in supporting older and vulnerable people living in our communities.
The pandemic shone a light on just how important the contribution our Meals on Wheels Heroes make to their local communities helping combat under nutrition, isolation and loneliness.
Now we face a further dilemma that many older and vulnerable people will be grappling with – To heat or eat! But we can be sure that our Heroes will still be out there providing more than just a meal, supporting nutrition and hydration with regular nutritious meals.
As we are now just a month away from Meals on Wheels Week, the NACC is once again calling on everyone – from its members, industry colleagues, partners, associations and friends to local government, politicians, celebrities and the general public to join in the celebrations.
This can be by simply showing their support through social media and helping to highlight the valuable nutritional support Meals on Wheels gives older and vulnerable people living at home in the community.
The week is also an ideal opportunity to spotlight the social contribution of Meals on Wheels services. Loneliness and social isolation are prevalent on our communities and Meals on Wheels, together with lunch clubs and day centres, play a critical role in reducing this.
Thank you Tuesday - Tuesday 1 November
There are events planned for every day during the week and Tuesday is dedicated to showing appreciation for our Meals on Wheels teams. For everyone that contributes, whether that’s making the meals, volunteers, drivers, carers or those that work behind the scenes, today is the day to show our appreciation.
Helping ease the NHS
Meals on Wheels also plays a significant role in supporting the NHS, alleviating pressures on beds by allowing otherwise vulnerable patients to be discharged back to their own homes, where most would prefer to be. They can also support local lunch clubs and meeting groups by supplying nutritious, tasty meals.
Neel Radia, Meals on Wheels project lead for the NACC, said, “The pandemic has given the nation a real glimpse of the value of Meals on Wheels services and the nutritional and emotional support they provide to the vulnerable living at home in the community. As well as a long-term solution, it is also a short-term answer for those discharged from hospitals who may need temporary support as they convalesce back to good health.
“The current cost-of-living crisis, and the significant energy price rises, pose a new challenge. Many older and vulnerable people will sadly have to choose between eating or heating this winter and providing support with food is going to be more of a necessity than ever before – a basic human need that Meals on Wheels services can offer.
“I urge all industry colleagues and providers to take part in Meals on Wheels Week 2022 to ensure the ongoing value of this precious service is recognised and protected. I also would encourage everyone else to show their support for this cornerpiece of our nation”
Sue Cawthray, the national chair of the NACC, said, 'This year as people face a winter where fuel bills hit an all-time high and, in some cases, may be making decisions on whether to ‘heat or eat’ the NACC is ensuring that its Meals on Wheels week is once again raising the profile of such a vital service across the UK to those key decision makers and influencers.
“This important week is an opportunity to raise the significant issues we face around a dwindling service and the need for government funding and support. It is imperative that our older population has access to a meal service delivered to their home and the social interaction that is brings to assist with preventing isolation.'