Consultation (closed)

Background information

Community meals are for people who need help to prepare or obtain a meal. We carry out an assessment to decide whether people are eligible.

You might need support with a meal if you:

  • Are living at home and are unable to make a meal or obtain one for yourself
  • Have been discharged from hospital and need a home-delivered meal until you are up and about again
  • Do not have a carer available to provide you with a meal
  • Would be unable to access a meal or would be at risk if you were left alone to prepare food.

We currently have a contract with a company called Apetito to deliver frozen meals to people who are eligible (delivered by Wiltshire Farm Foods on behalf of Apetito). If a person is unable to re-heat a frozen meal, Apetito deliver a hot meal.

Approximately 400 people in Devon currently receive hot meals and 100 receive frozen meals. The 400 people who currently receive a hot meals service pay £4 for each meal. Under the current contract our meals are subsidised which means that Devon County Council currently pays an additional £4.48 towards the total cost of each hot meal.

In Devon, the number of people who receive a meals service from us has reduced by 60% in the last four years. Currently, only 0.3% of people aged 65+ living in Devon receive this service.

As the number of people receiving meals falls, the cost to us continues to increase. That is not financially sustainable and the majority of other local authorities no longer subsidise meals services.

If the proposal is agreed after the consultation, you will need to pay for 100% of the cost of meals and delivery, but you will have increased choice over how you access meals services. We will support you to understand this through your review and reassessment.