After one million servings, it's a new Harpenden Meals on Wheels

PUBLISHED: 16:21 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010

A NEW Meals on Wheels service in Harpenden swung into action this week after facing closure because of a shortage of volunteers. On Monday the service in the town transferred to Herts Community Meals which has also taken on responsibility for providing m

A NEW Meals on Wheels service in Harpenden swung into action this week after facing closure because of a shortage of volunteers.

On Monday the service in the town transferred to Herts Community Meals which has also taken on responsibility for providing meals for Harpenden Day Centre.

Herts Community Meals is a not-for-profit organisation established in partnership with Herts County Council to deliver the Meals on Wheels service across the county.

It has guaranteed to continue to provide meals for all those who currently receive them in the town without them having to have any new needs assessment.

For the past 60-plus years, Harpenden Red Cross volunteers have provided the Meals on Wheels delivery service in the town, during which time around one million meals have been delivered.

But with the average age of volunteers currently around 75 and many volunteers standing down over the last few years because of infirmity, the future of the service was looking doubtful.

Attempts to recruit new, younger volunteers were unsuccessful and it looked as though the service would have to close on April 1.

But the new partnership has been put in place and will include continuing to provide meals at the Day Centre.

Ken Jenkins, chairman of Harpenden Day Centre, said: "We are delighted that the luncheon club at the day centre will continue and although sorry that the cooking of Meals on Wheels there will cease, we are pleased that the service will continue with greater choice and hope that this will increase from five to seven days per week in the future.

June Jumaily, chief executive of Herts Community Meals, said they had a "wonderful team" who would ensure that all users of the service would be well looked after. She added: "We have recently completed a large-scale customer satisfaction survey and have received excellent feedback from our existing clients across the county.

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