People across West Sussex will be enjoying a traditional lunch on Christmas Day thanks to the county’s meals on wheels service.
The service runs 365 days of the year, delivering more than 3,000 meals each week across the county.
While many people will be visiting family or friends on Christmas Day, more than 200 others who may otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas roast dinner, will rely on the service to deliver dinner on the big day.
A choice of turkey and all the trimmings, festive roast pork or a vegetarian option, followed by Christmas pudding or trifle are on the menu this year, along with Christmas cake.
The service, run by apetito, had a special festive recruit this week – Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for adults and health.
Among the customers Amanda met was Jane Dugan, 95, who described the service as a “lifeline”. She said: “The people who deliver my meals are lovely. I really enjoy the meals and as I can’t cook for myself easily anymore they are a real lifeline to me.”
Amanda said: “I’m so proud of our meals on wheels team. The drivers will be out there delivering on Christmas Day and will make every effort to bring some festive cheer to people.
“Whatever the weather – even if it is a white Christmas – they will make sure they get a hot meal out to their customers.
“This service isn’t just about delivering a nutritious hot meal; it’s also about the daily visit, a friendly face and part of the additional support we make available for our residents to access.”
Sarah Ayres, from apetito, said: “The team do a fantastic job throughout the year in all weathers and Christmas Day is no exception. We are never short of drivers who want to bring some Christmas cheer into the homes of our customers in the form of Christmas dinner and a friendly chat. In many cases, our drivers visit will be the only contact the customer has on this special day.”
Meals on wheels enables many older, disabled and housebound people to remain independent in their own homes. The service is also there as support at times of particular need, for example for someone returning home from hospital. Meals can be ordered for the number of days required, and there is no obligation to sign up for a certain period.
For more information about apetito email firstname.lastname@example.org ,or call 01903 718893.
Photos: Amanda meets Jane Dugan, 95, and delivers her meal before meeting Alan Baker, aged 88.