Hundreds of hearty meals will be cooked and delivered by Enfield Council and Age UK Enfield each week to the most elderly and frail residents in the borough.
Enfield Catering Services, which is the local authority’s provider of nutritious and ethically sourced food to schools is diverting its skills to provide dinners to 200 older residents, seven days a week for eight weeks.
In total that’s over 11,000 fresh, hot meals and puddings which Enfield Council will be paying for from a £10,000 funding pot.
All the meals have been carefully designed by a Menu Development Chef and the catering team will cook the meals using the facilities kindly provided by Wilbury School. Enfield Council has partnered with Age UK Enfield who will identify from their database those most in need and make the deliveries of food. Age UK Enfield is the leading older people's charity in the borough that delivers vital services and advice.
Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “While we are already delivering food packages to the most vulnerable and isolated people in the borough, we also identified that some of our more elderly residents were left wondering how they would be able to manage to prepare a meal for themselves, let alone get out to buy the food needed. Many of them are no longer getting regular visits from family or neighbours due to advice on isolation and were concerned about their ability to cope.
"We have therefore stepped in to bring some welcome ‘home-style’ cooking, expertly created by our wonderful catering team who usually provide meals for thousands of school children across the borough. These comforting and familiar meals will not only be nutritious but delicious and delivered by caring and professional staff from Age UK Enfield.”
Gary Jones, chief executive officer at Age UK Enfield, said: "Age UK Enfield are delighted to be working in partnership with Enfield Council on this essential initiative to get food out to the most vulnerable older people in our community. It is a very difficult time for everyone, but especially for frail and vulnerable older people who are unable to go out, and may have had existing support networks cut off during the lock-down. We at Age UK Enfield have remodelled our services to ensure that older people are looked after during this time, and are pleased to be able to offer hot food alongside our existing services."
In addition, Enfield Catering Services will be cooking meals for those at risk of homelessness and in temporary accommodation. Currently, 40 individuals will have meals delivered to them, but this is expected to ramp up in coming weeks.
Enfield Council has collated a wide range of resources on MyLife Enfield, a dedicated website to health and social care. Resources include public health information translated in 34 languages and in British Sign Language, how to look after your physical and mental health at home while in isolation and advice on staying in contact with loved ones using technology.
For the latest on service changes at Enfield Council as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, go to our Enfield's response to coronavirus (COVID-19) page. You can also see more information about Age UK Enfield.