Meals on Wheels Week, which aims to raise awareness of the work done by Meals on Wheels teams across the country, is to return from the 1 – 5 November.
Organised by the National Association of Care Caterers (NACC), Meals on Wheels Week will highlight the contribution the service makes in combating malnutrition, isolation, and loneliness.
It will also provide a platform to show gratitude to all the frontline Meals on Wheels teams that have continued to work under challenging circumstances throughout the pandemic.
To focus attention on the positive impact Meals on Wheels has on those receiving the service, the NACC invited local MPs, dignitaries and industry leaders to join a delivery round in their locality to experience first-hand the lifeline it affords older and vulnerable people.
Kicking off the VIP on Wheels programme is the NACC patron, Baroness Barker, who joined a Meals on Wheels delivery with Hertfordshire Independent Living Services (HILS) in St Albans.
Meals on Wheels Week 2021 is bringing back #mealsonwheelsheroes, the social media initiative that shows gratitude to the service and their teams as they continue to work amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Supporters are asked to hold a thank you poster, have their photograph taken and then share it on their preferred social media platforms using the hashtag #mealsonwheelsheroes.
Neel Radia, Meals on Wheels lead for the NACC, said: "This year, like the last, has seen the Meals on Wheels service still under immense pressure as it serves meals throughout the pandemic. We therefore feel that it's only right and appropriate to use Meals on Wheels Week as a platform to show all those involved how grateful we are for their continued hard work and dedication."
Sue Cawthray, the national chair of the NACC, added: "Over the past 18 months, we've seen how Meals on Wheels services have reinvented themselves in the face of adversity. The combination of the pandemic and reducing social care budgets has changed the Meals on Wheels landscape. From this we have seen innovation, creativity, and brilliant new ways of working. New partnerships between local authorities, providers, charities and hospitality establishments, for example, have ensured continued support where it's needed.
"We all have a responsibility to learn from each other, adapt and ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of older and vulnerable people in the community is a priority."
The #mealsonwheelsheroes poster can be downloaded at www.thenacc.co.uk
Image: (left to right) Sarah Wren, chief executive, HILS, Neel Radia, NACC Meals on Wheels lead, and Baroness Barker