Surrey Heath Borough Council mobilise meals on wheels for struggling families
The Chief Executive Officer (Acting) of Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced (28th October 2020) that the ‘Meals at Home’ Service has been mobilised to provide assistance to families in the Borough.
This in response to councillors request that the Council directly intervenes to ensure no child goes hungry during the October school break.
In a post on his facebook page, County Councillor Paul Deach said the Councils CEO had briefed him on the assistance being provided to families in the Borough who have children that receive free school meals.
Cllr Deach wrote, “I want to thank the Leader of the Council Cllr Alan McClafferty who has listened and acted upon the feedback from myself and other councillors of all political colours to ensure the council does the best it can for the children of our Borough.”
The Meals at Home service, more commonly known as ‘Meals on Wheels’ is typically used for residents who find it challenging to cook for themselves or to go out food shopping.
According to Cllr Deach’s facebook post:
- Meals will be available to be delivered from tea time yesterday (28th October 2020) starting 4:15pm.
- Meals will be provided for the whole family and not just for the eligible pupils
- When contact is made the family will be asked about continued meal provision, up until Sunday
- The meal will consist of a main meal and a dessert, and if possible, the Council will look to produce additional tea packs to deliver at the same time.
- The Council will cater for dietary requirements and as far as possible personal likes/dislikes.
As far as the Residents Network is aware, Surrey Heath is the first Council to use its Meals at Home service in this way.
Cllr Deach went on to say “There is no need for any child to go hungry in Surrey Heath. The voluntary sector has been incredible”.
According to his Facebook post volunteers have provided 63 hot meals and 250 packed lunches to families in the Borough.
Cllr Deach also said “The Council’s Family Support service continues to provide support to the most vulnerable families in the Borough.”
Councillor for Old Dean, Shaun Garrett said “It is good to see SHBC have been to step in and help with the much-needed support. I know here on the Old Dean we have been working hard as a team, putting political differences to one side and working as one. Actions always speak louder than words.”.
One comment in response to Cllr Deach’s post from Joel Ramsden said “Good to see SHBC doing the right thing. As you say Paul, no child should go hungry in our area.”
County Councillor for Bookham and Fetcham West Clare Curren said “Well done. There are families who are facing tough times and need this help, no questions and no judgement”.
Cllr Deach also confirmed that the Surrey Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) will be working with the schools when they re-open next week to look at arrangements for Christmas. The SLRF will guide the Council on what support will be needed from the District and Borough’s across the county.
The national media attention on this issue has been enormous, and it will place an additional strain on council resources at a time of increased demand on services.