Posted on: Friday 23 April 2021
A Torfaen Council meal delivery service has seen demand for its service increase by almost a third over the past year.
Torfaen Council's Community Meals team are serving up more than 1150 meals a week, compared to an average of 860 in 2018/19.
The service, which costs £5 for a two-course menu, is aimed at people who live in their own homes but cannot prepare their own meals and also offers valuable wellness checks.
More than 200 residents are signed up for the service and have the option to receive a hot meal and additional tea tray items as often as they like, with no on-going contract.
Although many of those who use the service are older people, the Community Meals service is open to anyone who is unable to prepare a meal because of frailty, illness or disability.
91-year-old Joyce Dudley from Cwmbran signed up to the service back in January, where she receives a meal 7 days a week. Joyce said, “The service is great, the dinners are really lovely and I look forward to it each day. The staff are so polite and nothing is too much trouble. It’s also offering peace of mind to my family who know that I’m checked on daily.”
Susan Horsley, whose mother Madeline Lyndon, 99, uses the service, said, “My mum’s meals always smell and look delicious. All staff are helpful and pleasant. It’s a wonderful service that gives families peace of mind to know their loved ones have hot nutritious food. Thank you to all the dedicated staff that make it all happen 52 weeks a year. Well Done”
Another happy service user is 69-year-old Martin Jennings from Cwmbran, who has been receiving community meals for just over a year. He said, “I think that this service is highly praiseworthy, particularly during this difficult and uncertain time, when I have very much appreciated the regularity and reliability of the service. Thank you to all those involved in the preparation and delivery of the meals. You are doing a great job!”
Community Meals Manager, Gareth Bowd said, “With people spending more time at home as a result of the pandemic, the demand our community meals service has hit an all-time high.
Today we have delivered 174 meals. Before the pandemic we had four vans operational on a full time basis 7 days a week, plus a 5th van working limited hours and not on weekends. We now have five vans delivering community meals on a 7 days a week basis.
Each round is delivering more than 30 meals a day with some rounds reaching 40+ deliveries a day at their busiest periods.
Whilst the service is doing extremely well, our Adult Services teams continue to promote the Community Meals service with residents they look after, as a viable way of supporting them at home with wellness checks and a hot, healthy meal.”
To apply or find out more information about the Community Meals service, please visit the Torfaen website at www.torfaen.gov.uk or call 01495 766373.