Meals ser­vice hit by reg­u­la­tions

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY GE­OR­GIA MAY

El­derly res­i­dents are up­set new gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions have forced Hawke’s Bay’s Age Con­cern to stop their frozen meal ser­vices.

The or­gan­i­sa­tions reg­u­larly sold frozen meals to el­derly peo­ple across the re­gion, and pro­vided a home delivery ser­vice for those not able to pick up the meals them­selves.

It was dif­fer­ent to the DHB’s Meals on Wheels ser­vice, which de­liv­ers hot food to 6000 res­i­dents in Hawke’s Bay.

Man­ager of Age Con­cern Napier, Morag Hill, said it was un­able to con­tinue pro­vid­ing the ser­vice be­cause MPI had changed the rules.

New reg­u­la­tions re­quired the sup­plier of the meals to hold a li­cence that would re­quire mod­i­fi­ca­tion of kitchens and ad­di­tional com­pli­ance, she said.

“Our lo­cal sup­plier has pro­vided good qual­ity, rea­son­ably priced meals to all Age Con­cerns in Hawke’s Bay — Age Con­cern Hast­ings and Have­lock North as well as our­selves. We are very dis­ap­pointed we have to cease this ser­vice, as is our lo­cal provider. It is not some­thing we both wanted to hap­pen.”

Hill was un­cer­tain how many res­i­dents would be los­ing out on the ser­vice. She said the Napier RSA had also ceased home delivery.

Res­i­dents who usu­ally re­lied on the pro­vided meals would have to pur­chase a pre­pared meal from a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, or or­gan­ise a home delivery from a dif­fer­ent provider.

Hast­ings Age Con­cern man­ager Deb­o­rah Biggs said it was in the process of try­ing to find a new provider, but was hav­ing no suc­cess.

“It is very dis­ap­point­ing as the meals were good qual­ity and a good price. We had a great range of op­tions and with the use of sea­sonal veg­eta­bles they didn’t get bor­ing,” she said.

“Pre­vi­ously we had been pur­chas­ing meals from Welling­ton, so it was great to be able to pro­vide a lo­cally sourced meal that sup­ported Hawke’s Bay busi­nesses.”

Biggs said they had a good sup­ply of meals in stock which they ex­pected to last un­til Christ­mas, or into the New Year, so that peo­ple have time to find an al­ter­na­tive.

One Napier res­i­dent who wished to re­main anony­mous said he was “quite up­set” the meal ser­vice had ceased, as both he and his wife had used it for nearly two years. He was now trav­el­ling to the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket and pur­chas­ing pre-made frozen meals.

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