Staff from the council’s meals on wheels, contract services team are gearing up for their busiest time of the year – the Christmas break – when they will dish out festive cheer and a hot lunch to older people and disabled adults who may be vulnerable; housebound; or have recently been discharged from hospital.
The meals on wheels service delivers 190 hot meals a day, catering for a range of dietary requirements including vegetarian, halal and kosher, and meals for those with special dietary requirements.
On Christmas Day and throughout the holidays, the team will offer service with a smile as usual – delivering a meal and a gift voucher to clients.
The team, including cooks and kitchen assistants also prepare and deliver an additional 820 meals per month to day centres for older or disabled residents, including Riverside on the Isle of Dogs; Russia Lane in Bethnal Green; Appian Court in Bow and Day Opportunities in Stepney.
An additional 130 meals a day are freshly prepared at the industrial sized kitchen in Toby Lane, Stepney for clients in neighbouring Hackney.
Mayor John Biggs said: “We have a team of committed and dedicated staff who prepare and deliver thousands of hot nutritious meals to clients across Tower Hamlets every day of the year.
This service provides a lifeline to our residents, particularly at this time of year.”
Every Tower Hamlets client will also receive a complimentary £10 gift voucher on Christmas Day, purchased with donations from suppliers.
Cllr Denise Jones, Cabinet member for Health and Adults Servicessaid: “We wish all our service users compliments of the season. Even though it is Christmas, our teams are set to visit the homes of older or vulnerable adults, throughout the holiday.
“Answering the door to receive their meal is often the only chance some clients have to chat and interact with someone during the day. We hope the additional present of a gift voucher on Christmas Day will help make our clients feel valued at this time of the year.”
Dennis Plunkett, 78, has used the meals on wheels service since 2001, when he had a stroke.
He said: “It is a wonderful service. It is great to have a hot meal cooked and delivered daily. It has encouraged me to eat more vegetables, and the staff are great friends who take their time to ask how I am.”
The meals on wheels team prepares:
- 190 hot meals a day for older people or disabled adults in Tower Hamlets.
- 820 meals per month for day centres
- 130 meals a day for clients in neighbouring Hackney.