Putting community at the heart of Gloucestershire’s Community Meals service

Gloucestershire County Council has confirmed the new arrangements for providing hot meals for those who need them most following apetito end of their Gloucestershire Meals on Wheels service.

Using a variety of different Voluntary and Community Sector organisations alongside subsidised frozen meals and domiciliary care visits, residents who receive Adult Social Care subsidies will continue to receive support from the county council.

The county council’s Community Meals service is there for people who have just come out of the hospital or need extra support to prepare a hot meal for a short period. Often, those who need help long-term with preparing hot meals also need support from adult social care with other things too. The service is designed to support people to get back to independence, and anyone who needs help after six weeks will need to receive an assessment under the Care Act.

From 1 April, the county council’s Community Meals service will be made up of the following organisations serving these areas of the county:

  • Harry’s Country Kitchen will deliver frozen meals covering all areas of the county, with support provided if required.
  • The Grace Network – Eat and Greet will deliver and heat a meal on-site in the Stroud area, Monday to Friday. For weekend meals there is a frozen option with support arranged if required.
  • In Stroud, GL11 Community Hub will provide hot meal delivery on weekdays in GL11 and GL13 postcode areas, with the option of a chilled or frozen meal at the weekend, with support if required. They are taking on referrals through adult social care only at the moment.
  • Bunters Café will deliver a hot meal Monday-Saturday for Gloucestershire County Council-supported individuals in the Wotton-Under-Edge.
  • In the Forest of Dean, hot meals can be delivered from Dean Forest Kitchen seven days a week.
  • Age UK Wiltshire will provide hot meals seven days a week to GL7 and GL8 postcodes

Details of these providers can also be found on Your Circle at www.yourcircle.org.uk 

This current interim arrangement will be monitored whilst we work with these providers and residents to develop a long-term solution.

Many organisations like pubs and cafes have also come forward to offer informal arrangements if people would like hot meals delivered. The county council will be going through all other offers of informal help over the next few months, empowering communities to come together to support each other. All details will be published on Your Circle at www.yourcircle.org.uk so that all Gloucestershire residents are aware of the support available in their community. This may be of help for those self-funding their meals from apetito or who would like to self-fund in future.

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for Adults Social Care Delivery at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “We are delighted and relieved to have found assistance within the voluntary and community sector, and local businesses to keep community meals going in Gloucestershire. Our priority is to make sure people who need Community Meals the most do not go without during this transition, and I’m personally very grateful to all those who have come forward to offer their services.

“As a result, in the areas not covered at the moment by a pre-plated meal delivery option, the council will be subsidising frozen meals and organising a care call, so everyone will have access to a hot meal on the days they need it.”

In December 2022, the current Community Meals (Meals on Wheels) provider, apetito, made a business decision to stop a hot meals delivery service in Gloucestershire. All residents who are currently receiving Community Meals from apetito have received letters and phone calls to let them know there will be changes from 1 April 2023. Over the last four weeks, Adult Social Care teams in the county council have worked hard to contact around 570 people individually about the change in providers, with over 400 people saying they no longer need the service. Around 150 people will continue to receive Community Meals while they receive an assessment under the Care Act.  

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