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Worksop meals feed county’s most vulnerable for 30 years

Customer Jean Higgins, 83 from Gedling, is being handed her meal by delivery driver Maxine Newton.
Customer Jean Higgins, 83 from Gedling, is being handed her meal by delivery driver Maxine Newton.

A service which produces meals in Worksop and delivers them to elderly and vulnerable residents is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

County Enterprise Foods, launched by Nottinghamshire County Council in April 1987, produces just under 3,000 meals a day at its Worksop base using fresh ingredient and seasonal vegetables.

The meals are distributed to elderly and vulnerable residents across Nottinghamshire.

The service currently employs 60 people, including delivery drivers and people with disabilities who help to prepare the food.

Around 1,500 residents currently use the service, which offers a wide range of meals which can either be delivered to their doorstep hot or frozen.

The meals on offer are tasty and nutritious, varied and made from scratch locally using fresh ingredients and seasonal vegetables.

Around 97 percent of customers who responded to a recent survey agreed or strongly agreed they felt better nourished since using the service.

Elaine Coupland, manager of the service, said: “Many of our customers struggle to make a hot meal so this service is a vital lifeline to them.

“Producing the meals locally means we can offer employment opportunities to people with disabilities and ensure our meals are freshly prepared using good quality ingredients.”

Gail Tomlinson’s mother Jean Higgins, 83 from Gedling, has been having meals five days a week and sandwiches for tea from the service for the last three years.

Gail said: “This service has given me a great deal of peace of mind as I run my own business so it is really reassuring to know there is a delivery driver who will check on my mum when they drop off the meals.

“My mother once had a fall and the service rang me to let me know she wasn’t answering the door.

“She was fine in the end but she could have been left for hours if I wasn’t alerted by the service.”

Jean said: “My favourite is the desserts, especially the ones with custard, and I also like the pork.”

Around 97 percent of customers who responded to a recent survey agreed or strongly agreed they felt better nourished since using the service.

Every month the service use around 172kg (379lbs) of fish, 50kg (110lbs) of peas and 320kg (704lbs) of flour.

To contact the meals at home service, telephone County Enterprise Foods on 01623 490015 or visit www.countyenterprisefoods.co.uk