Gov­ern­ment re­forms ‘Meals on Wheels’ ser­vice, aims to end waiting list by Novem­ber

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day an­nounced a re­form in the Meals on Wheels ser­vice, which is be­ing re­branded to ‘Meals to you’ and said it aims to make a waiting list dis­ap­pear by Novem­ber.

The ser­vice is of­fered by the Depart­ment for the El­derly and those who ap­ply are given a daily three­course meal for the price of €2.20

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary Justyne Caru­ana said the de­mand for the ser­vice had grown so much that the depart­ment was strug­gling to cope. A waiting list was cre­ated in 2012.

Last year there were 338 peo­ple mak­ing use of the ser­vice and 305 peo­ple on the waiting list.

Dr Caru­ana said the re­form was aimed at ad­dress­ing the waiting list is­sue and in­tro­duc­ing bet­ter prac­tices.

Ex­perts were called in to ad­vise on mod­ern food pro­cess­ing and han­dling prac­tices. A new and more in­clu­sive menu – which in­cludes lac­tose free, gluten free and di­a­betic meals – was also drawn up.

The new menu, the nu­tri­tional as­pect, the food prepa­ra­tion stage, serv­ing tem­per­a­tures and de­liv­ery meth­ods were all in­cor­po­rated into an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est. The con­trac­tor also has to pro­cure new equip­ment, in­clud­ing some 10 de­liv­ery vans.

Dr Caru­ana said the nec­es­sary fi­nanc­ing had been al­lo­cated for the re­form. It is en­vis­aged that the waiting list will have been elim­i­nated by the end of Novem­ber. She added that over 100 peo­ple had been added to the ser­vice after the new con­trac­tor was en­gaged.

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