New community meals provider announced
Gloucestershire County Council has named apetito as the new provider of Gloucestershire's community meal service from 1st April 2016.
Community meals or 'meals on wheels', delivers a range of subsidised hot meals to the homes of around 650 eligible older and vulnerable people in Gloucestershire to help them live as independently as possible in their own homes.
With the current contract due to expire at the end of March, the county council went through a competitive tender process to find the best supplier.
This new contract will ensure that those most in need of community meals continue to have them, and that others will be sign posted to community based services such as luncheon clubs or have the information to make arrangements with meal providers directly.
No-one currently receiving the service will be affected by the change in provider, and users will continue to pay £3.50 for the meals.
During consultation, service users told the council that there is a need for greater flexibility and access to a wider and better choice of meals. Community meals are an opportunity for people to have at least one daily hot meal, so it is important that they meet nutritional needs.
Cllr Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for older people, said: "We know that many older people want to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible, and by continuing to provide community meals, we can help them to do that.
"We are really pleased that apetitoput themselves forward to deliver community meals to our county's older and vulnerable people. They have a strong proven track record with over 50 years of experience
"We delivered over 190,000 meals in 2014/15 alone, so by extending this service we're able to keep supporting the most vulnerable in Gloucestershire."
Paul Freeston, chief executive officer of apetito, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won the contract to supply and deliver 'Meals on Wheels' to residents across Gloucestershire.
"This is a vital service that supports peoples health and wellbeing, enabling them to remain independent within their own homes".
For more information on community meals please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk.