There are many things that make Britain great. One of our greatest institutions is our community meals service, honoured by this the 60th Anniversary of Meals on Wheels Week (1 to 7 October 2007), says Graham Russell, managing director of Apetito.
The service was introduced in 1947 to help those housebound or without kitchen facilities following the London blitz. Since then, it has endured over the years, ensuring millions of the elderly and vulnerable have benefited from meals, delivered direct to the door.
From dishes cooked in soup kitchens, to meals delivered in prams and wheelbarrows, the service has come along way, with today's modern service offering carefully nutritionally balanced meals, delivered in state-of-the-art vans, complete with electric powered ovens and freezers.
But what about the future and the next 60 years? As with any catering operation, community meals will need to continue moving and evolving with the times.
Plus, in a country obsessed with diets, trans fats and food allergies, we'll need more than ever, to offer meals to suit an increasing range of dietary and nutritional requirements.
As a nation, we are all living longer and access to hot meals in the home will be as important, if not more so in the coming decades as it was in 1947.
To play a part in securing the future of this essential service, raise a glass to its 60th birthday and the many activities taking place this Meals on Wheels Week to celebrate.
After all, many of us may take the service for granted, but like a state pension, we'll all miss it if it's not around when we want it.