The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has launched a social media campaign to celebrate the work of the frontline Meals on Wheels services across the country.
The #mealsonwheelsheroes campagign gives Meals on Wheels teams up and down the country the recognition, praise and thanks they deserve as part of the Covid-19 frontline effort, and also for the vital lifeline they offer the elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community all year round.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant the number of vulnerable people living in the community, confined to their own homes and reliant on others, increased significantly, almost overnight. In response, an army of Meals on Wheels heroes stepped up to ensure demand for this essential lifeline was met.
The NACC is calling on everyone – from its members, industry colleagues, partners, associations and friends to local government, politicians, celebrities and the general public – to take to social media to publicly declare their support and gratitude for all Meals on Wheels heroes. It's asking everyone to post photographs of themselves with a special #mealsonwheelsheroes thank you message for all their followers to see, like, share and recreate.
Sue Cawthray, national chair, NACC, said: "The pandemic has highlighted a need that's always been there. The elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community are at risk of malnutrition and social isolation. These issues existed long before Covid-19 became part of our everyday language, but they have been exacerbated and spotlighted by the pandemic.
"Talking to our members, the onset of lockdown brought about an increase in demand of up to 30%. As it became difficult for care teams to visit clients or relatives to support their loved ones, the vital role Meals on Wheels services play in the community gained greater recognition. As well as delivering a daily nutritious meal, it also delivered important wellbeing checks and a friendly face to break the loneliness, which was intensified by lockdown. "
Neel Radia, Meals on Wheels project lead for the NACC, added: "Quite frankly, I'd hate to imagine the plight of the elderly and vulnerable in the community throughout the pandemic if Meals on Wheels services didn't exist. It's so important that we don't allow their incredible contribution to be forgotten."
To take part, take a photo with the special thank you poster, downloadable here, and post on social media, including the hashtags #mealsonwheelsheroes and #morethanjustameal and tag in the NACC.