Bangers gone from Meals onWheels

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

The clas­sic Kiwi banger will no longer fea­ture in Meals on Wheels dishes.

Com­pass Group, the provider of the meals, has made sev­eral changes to its menu af­ter a 12 month re­view of their ser­vice, which in­volved re­ceiv­ing feed­back from cus­tomers and de­liv­ery vol­un­teers.

As a re­sult 2017 will see the re­moval of sausages and a pota­to­based dish along with a change in pack­ag­ing.

Meals on Wheels is a free or low cost Min­istry of Health ser­vice set up to sup­port peo­ple un­able to pre­pare and cook a meal in their home.

Gen­eral man­ager of Re­tail Meat New Zealand An­toinette Bis­set said the re­moval of sausages doesn’t come as a sur­prise as menus changed all the time.

‘‘One thing we do be­lieve through anec­do­tal ev­i­dence is that many cus­tomers of Meals on Wheels re­ally en­joy a good sausage.’’

Com­pass Group spokes­woman Lau­ren Scott said the change in pack­ag­ing in­volves a shift from a foil ma­te­rial to a re­cy­clable plas­tic which could be more se­curely sealed. ‘‘It means at some point in the near future we can move to of­fer­ing a hot or frozen meal be­cause you can ac­tu­ally put this pack­ag­ing in the mi­crowave or the oven, which we couldn’t do with the pre­vi­ous pack­ag­ing,’’ Scott Said.

This gave Com­pass greater flex­i­bil­ity in what it of­fered meal re­cip­i­ents, she said.

‘‘This is a lit­tle bit more mod­ern, it’s a lit­tle bit more in line with what you might buy in the su­per­mar­ket.’’

Scott said the pack­ag­ing change came about be­cause re­cip­i­ents were mov­ing away from a tra­di­tion of hav­ing their main meal in the mid­dle of the day. ‘‘As part of the meals on wheels spec­i­fi­ca­tions we have to of­fer a hot meal in the mid­dle of the day but be­cause of this pack­ag­ing we’ll be able to go to of­fer­ing a frozen meal as an al­ter­na­tive that peo­ple can heat at their leisure.

‘‘Rather than re­ceiv­ing a hot meal, pop­ping it on the bench, leav­ing it un­til the evening and re-heat­ing it which isn’t ideal.’’

An­other change for 2017 will see an ad­di­tional roast meal added to the menu, a meal that re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back.

New Zealand Red Cross vol­un­teers de­liver around 620,000 Meals on Wheels meals a year.

HUGH COLLINS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Meals on Wheels vol­un­teer Barry Thorn and Com­pass Group na­tional de­vel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion man­ager Lau­ren Scott with an ex­am­ple of the food it provides.

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