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