Meals on Wheels
Hertfordshire County Council and the voluntary sector supply meals on wheels to residents who:
- are unable to obtain a meal from any other source, such as a partner or Lunch Club;
- are unable to prepare their own meal, using either fresh, frozen or chilled foods;
- would be at risk if left alone to prepare food;
- are liable to self-neglect or would eat an inappropriate diet without this service.
If you think you might qualify for Meals on Wheels, contact Hertfordshire County Council or your doctor.
Meals on Wheels are available all year round, providing hot lunch, cold tea and breakfast services, with the ability to cater for customers’ specific dietary and cultural requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) provides our Meals on Wheels service. For more information on the service provided please visit their website or contact their local office on 0330 2000 103.
The following services are also available in specific areas of the District:
Sarratt - Sarratt Care provides a service Mon-Fri for £2.50 per day. Contact on 01923 264 618.
Chorleywood - Chorleywood Women’s Royal Volunteering Service (WRVS) provide a fresh cooked meal service Mon, Tue, and Thurs for £3.00 per day. To contact call Barbara Christie on 01923 282751 or Linda Clarkson on 01494 762849.
Hertfordshire Independent Living Service customers will be charged at £4.75 for lunch and £3.25 for cold tea and £2.75 for breakfast seven days a week. More information can be found here: Hils Aril-9-2018 (pdf)
In order to receive meals, some simple eligibility criteria have to be met:
1. Does the person have difficulty in preparing or cooking a meal using fresh, frozen or chilled foods because:
- They are frail, confused or housebound?
- They have a mental or physical disability?
- They would be at risk in preparing a meal?
2. Is the person unable to shop regularly for food or obtain a meal from any other source, e.g. partner/relative/friend/lunch club?
3. Does the person need temporary cover or service because:
- Their carer is unwell or on holiday?
- They are suffering bereavement, illness or have recently been discharged from hospital?
If you think that you meet one or more of these criteria, call the Herts County Council Customer Service Team on 0300 123 4042 and they will confirm whether you can receive meals and will arrange for them to be delivered to you.
To sign up to Meals on Wheels you can either apply online or contact Hertfordshire County Council's Contact Centre on 0300 123 4042 and hold to speak to an operator.
Once it has been confirmed that you are eligible for Meals on Wheels you will receive a welcome letter from Hertfordshire Independent Living Service along with a menu and information about the service. You will then need to phone HILS to discuss any specific requirements, ask any questions you may have and decide on the dates you would like to begin receiving the service.
How do I pay for my meal?
You can pay for your meals via direct debit, cheque, postal order or through a telephone payment (by calling HILS customer service team giving them your credit/debit card details). You will be invoiced for your meals monthly in arrears.
What time will my meal be delivered?
Meals will be delivered piping hot and ready to eat between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm on weekdays and between 11.30 am and 2.00 pm at weekends. Your meal service deliverer will usually arrive around the same time every day, but occasionally the needs of another client, bad weather, or severe traffic issues may mean that the time varies a little. If you prefer to eat at an earlier or later time and are able to heat your own meal, HILS frozen meal service may be more suitable for you.
Your meal will be delivered by a member of HILS Meals Service Delivery Team. You will recognise them because they will be wearing a Hertfordshire Independent Living Service green uniform, and will wear a HILS identity badge.
How will I choose my meals?
You will receive a menu from which to select your meals. The menu will allow you to select your monthly choice of meals. Every four months you will be sent a new menu so that you can choose again. Each day there will be a selection of five dinners, including two meat/fish options, two vegetarian options and a salad. The menu also offers a selection of one hot and two cold desserts, including those suitable for a diabetic diet.
HILS customer service teams can also create personalised menus for clients who have particular preferences. They offer a wide range of specialist meals for clients who would like Kosher, Halal, vegetarian, Asian or Caribbean/West Indian food. We provide a special range of soft, pureed and texture-modified meals for clients who have swallowing difficulties, as well as diabetic, moderate salt, gluten free, lower fat, energy dense, dairy free, and reducing options, for clients with health or ethical dietary needs.
If you do not want to choose your meals, you will be provided with the 'meal of the day'.
If you would like a teatime meal you will also be given a teatime menu from which to select your meals.
What should I expect my meal service deliverer to do?
Your meal service deliverer will be pleased to bring your meal into your home, plate it, and fetch you a glass of water if that is what you would like. Some clients like to eat their meal from the container in which it is delivered. If you prefer to take your meal from the HILS deliverer at the door, do remember to use a tray or a thick cloth because the meal will be very hot.
Your driver will also ask how you are feeling, and if you have any worries they can ask the HILS office staff to contact your family or friends on your behalf to make sure that someone looks in on you.
What happens if I don't answer the door when my meal is delivered?
HILS meal service delivery staff will first try to make sure that you can hear them by knocking at the front and back door if you have one. If they don't get a response, they will try to phone you on the number which you have given HILS . If you don't answer, they will call the office and the person you have given as your next of kin will be called. HILS will make sure that they know you are safe, and if necessary ask the police to help check you are all right. HILS will never leave a meal outside your home or with a neighbour, for security reasons.
Can I eat my meal later?
The meal will be delivered piping hot and ready to eat straightaway. It will stay warm for a short while if unopened, but it must never be reheated. Cold desserts, sandwiches and salads may be kept in the fridge to eat later that day if required.
What happens if I don't like something?
If you select a meal that you don't enjoy or if there are things that you cannot eat, tell your meal service deliverer or call HILS customer service team, who will make sure that you won't receive it again.
What if I need to cancel a meal?
If you are going away, have an appointment, or will not need a meal for another reason, you can cancel the meal by calling the office before 8.30 am on the day that you do not want it. You can also cancel a meal by telling your meal service deliverer or by calling one of our customer service teams in advance. There is a 24-hour answering machine at each office on which you can leave a message outside office hours.
Meals on Wheels