Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts, has been out helping to deliver nutritious meals to residents as part of national Meals on Wheels Week (1-5 November).
The visit was an opportunity to showcase the vital service provided by Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), who provide meal deliveries and much more, as a lifeline to thousands of older and less able people in the county.
The council leader joined the HILS team in Letchworth to first see how the meals on wheels and Nutrition and Wellbeing teams ensure that meals meet the nutritional needs of every client.
He then headed out with one of the Site Team Leaders, Davina Riste, to Hitchin where he met 101-year-old John Daniels who has been receiving meals on wheels from HILS since 2014.
Cllr Roberts said: “It was a privilege to join the dedicated HILS team on their rounds and see just what a fantastic job they are doing in supporting our residents with warming food and vital nutrition.
Mr Daniels is a great example of why this service is not just about a meal; the visits help to reduce loneliness, improve people’s health and help them to maintain their independence – all of which are essential in ensuring our residents can live happy and healthy lives.
“All of our frontline meals-on-wheels teams have continued to work tirelessly under the challenging circumstances of the pandemic and beyond. Meals on Wheels Week is a timely opportunity to celebrate all they have done and I would like to issue my heartfelt thanks to them all for providing this crucial support.”
As well as providing nutritious meals, the service provides essential regular contact and welfare checks that support residents’ overall wellbeing and reduce isolation and loneliness. This vital service also helps to ease pressure on other services by reducing visits to GPs, hospitals, and the number of people going into care.
In February 2020, HILS celebrated winning a new service contract with Hertfordshire County Council to deliver half a million hot dinners to residents per year. In the last year, HILS delivered almost 543,500 meals to individuals and lunch clubs.
In addition to delivering hot meals, HILS provided around 87,000 tea and breakfast packs to clients and social groups. During the pandemic, HILS stepped in to support homeless shelters with meals.
To find out more about our meals-on-wheels services visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/mealsonwheels
For more information about support to adults in Hertfordshire, click on: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/adults
And for more about HILS, visit their website at: https://hertsindependentliving.org/