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Mayor Biggs joins the Meals on Wheels service

32Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, joined the Meals on Wheels service last week to deliver hot meals to vulnerable residents.
The Mayor went along to visit Andrea Pendock on November 13, as part of the celebrations around Meals on Wheels Week. Run by the National Association of Care Catering, Meals on Wheels Week is an initiative created to raise the profile and awareness of meals on wheels service and promote the importance of this vital service.
Tower Hamlets is the only London borough to cook meals fresh each day, and provide a 365-day a year delivered hot meal service. Mayor Biggs delivered one of the 250 hot meals delivered on that day to Andrea. He handed over one of her favourite meals – fish and chips!
Speaking on the day, Mayor Biggs said: “Coming along today and seeing the impact that this vital service has on the people was really important to me. We have continued to provide this service – and are the last council in London to keep doing it. And today, I understood why!
“But to keep this going, we have worked hard to ensure that it is financially sustainable. Our Contract Services team do a huge amount of work to keep costs down and still provide nutritious and delicious meals. The rest of London could learn a thing from us.”
Every day, the council delivers 250 hot meals to the elderly and vulnerable residents. They also prepare a further 100 per day for the residents of Hackney. In total, that’s 127,750 meals per year.
Andrea was thrilled by the chance to have a chat with the Mayor. Speaking about the service she receives, she said: “If I did not receive these meals each day, I would not eat very well, I expect. I am not very good at cooking meals for myself these days.”
She went on to describe the meals she receives as “delicious”. “They are always hot and a real life line for me. I started having them when I came out of the hospital and have received them every day for the past three years.”
She also extended a big thank you to the Meals on Wheel team. “They are all so kind and lovely – especially Kalam here, who climbs all those stairs every day for me. I do look forward to the staff coming each day and appreciate how hard the drivers and cooks back at the kitchen must work.”
The service provided by the council was recognised with a sustainability prize by the National Association of Care Catering in October. The judges described the service as “a model for others to follow”.