A new campaign that spotlights the value of meals on wheels services will launch on social media next week, with the aim of securing more government funding in this area.
For Meals on Wheels Week (November 4-8), the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) will use social media to promote the roles these services play in enhancing the lives of elderly and vulnerable people across the UK – using the hashtag #morethanjustameal.
Through customer testimonies and facts and statistics, the campaign will demonstrate how meals on wheels services can prevent malnutrition and reduce isolation.
The launch follows research by UK charity Bapen that the annual cost of malnutrition on the UK health and social care system is £20 billion. The Malnutrition Task Force also stated in its 2018 ‘State of the Nation’ report that one in 10 people aged over 65 are suffering from or are at risk of undernourishment.
Yet meals on wheels services have fallen victim to budget cuts. Last year, the NACC’s research confirmed that 24% of the UK’s local authorities have stopped offering a meals on wheels service since 2014 and just 42% of local authorities now offer this service.
Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “Meals on Wheels is a fantastic service and it’s really important that we continue to talk about the enormous social contribution it makes. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our #morethanjustameal campaign.
“We want to make sure people understand the prevalence and impact of malnutrition and social isolation amongst the elderly and vulnerable in our communities and the many benefits the service offers to combat both. By sharing facts and humanising the issue, we will achieve this and be in a stronger position to increase the pressure on government to protect the service through greater social care funding.”
Across the country, NACC members will be putting on special events and activities to raise awareness of meals on wheels services and their fantastic contribution to the community.
These include inviting local VIPs to join a delivery, Meals on Wheels Week menus and blogs.