The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has launched a petition during Meals on Wheels Week (9-13 November) calling for the service to be statutory protected.
Foodservice and care industry professionals are being urged to show their support for the community service, which has diminished in recent years as a result of budget cuts.
National chair of the NACC Neel Radia (pictured) spoke at the House of Commons last week as part of the ongoing Meal on Wheels campaign.
He addressed the National Pensioners Parliamentary Rally, alongside Kelvin Hopkins MP, and Nick Thomas Symonds MP, the shadow pensions minister.
Last year the NACC revealed that over one third of the 212 top tier councils in the UK had stopped providing Meals on Wheels services to local residents. The association now believes the figure is closer to half and is concerned that the service will not survive the forthcoming government's Comprehensive Spending Review.
Radia said: "Removing this vital lifeline for elderly people not only puts more pressure on our hospitals and NHS staff but is also dangerous for those who rely on the service. Maintaining good nutrition and the human contact that comes with this is key to ensuring that our elderly are able to live independently in good health for as long as possible. Cutting this service puts vulnerable, elderly members of the community at risk and will also end up costing the country far more money. The service needs protecting in law."
The NACC requires 100,000 signatures for the topic to be considered for debate in Parliament. Click here to sign the petition.