Council reaches three-year meals on wheels milestone

Front, Xav Tavender, 5, from Warash was one of the first prize winners ! Left to right, Melissa Smith from Southsea with her brother Tim Tavender, his wife Ursula Tavender, Christine Cotton, Korneliya Tomova and Molly Jahans ''Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180615-4046)

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Hampshire County Council will celebrate three years of meals on wheels with its contractor Apetito next month.

Apetito has provided the service since April 2013, with more than 1,500 people regularly receiving the service.

Anyone aged over 55 who has difficulty preparing meals, either because of ill health or disability, can sign up to receive a one-off, or a regular hot lunch, as well as afternoon tea.

James Maxwell, service centre manager for Apetito, said: ‘During the past three years, our service has gone from strength to strength. We have a number of regular customers enjoying our meals, but also a continuous flow of new customers who require short-term support, following a stay in hospital for example.

‘Our work with the council continues to ensure that the county’s most vulnerable residents have access to good quality healthy meals should they need it.’

From April 1, the cost per meal will increase by 15p from £3.80 to £3.95. The cost of an afternoon tea, which includes a savoury pastry, a sandwich, a piece of cake and a serving of fruit will remain £3.25.

Meals on Wheels customers can use the council’s food and friendship service, run by Age Concern Hampshire, which provides social contact for many vulnerable older and disabled people who might otherwise not see anyone from one day to the next.