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enfield catering services age ukEnfield Council's school meals provider is switching its focus from the youngest to some of the oldest and frailest of the borough's residents and to people at risk of homelessness.

Over a period of eight weeks Enfield Catering Services, holder of the Soil Association's prestigious Silver Catering Mark, will be providing daily dinners to 200 older residents - in total, more than 11,000 hot meals and puddings, paid for by the council from a £10,000 funding pot.

All the meals have been carefully designed by a menu development chef and the catering team will cook the meals using facilities provided by Wilbury School. They will be delivered by Age UK Enfield, who will be using their database to identify the residents who are most in need.

Enfield Council is already delivering food packages to some of the borough's most vulnerable and isolated people, but realised that there were others also having problems.

Council leader Nesil Caliskan explains. "We also identified that some of our more elderly residents were left wondering how they would be able to manage to prepare a meal for themselves, let alone get out to buy the food needed. Many of them are no longer getting regular visits from family or neighbours due to advice on isolation and were concerned about their ability to cope.

"We have therefore stepped in to bring some welcome 'home-style' cooking, expertly created by our wonderful catering team who usually provide meals for thousands of school children across the borough. These comforting and familiar meals will not only be nutritious but delicious and delivered by caring and professional staff from Age UK Enfield."

Gary Jones, chief executive officer at Age UK Enfield, said: "Age UK Enfield are delighted to be working in partnership with Enfield Council on this essential initiative to get food out to the most vulnerable older people in our community. It is a very difficult time for everyone, but especially for frail and vulnerable older people who are unable to go out, and may have had existing support networks cut off during the lock-down. We at Age UK Enfield have remodelled our services to ensure that older people are looked after during this time, and are pleased to be able to offer hot food alongside our existing services."

As well as collaborating with Age UK Enfield to feed older people, Enfield Catering Services will be cooking meals for those at risk of homelessness and in temporary accommodation. Currently, 40 individuals will have meals delivered to them, but this is expected to ramp up in coming weeks.

Getting help during the coronavirus crisis

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If you or someone you know needs help, you should register with Enfield Stands Together using the Covid-19 Community Support Request Form. Alternatively, you can phone 020 3821 1966 (Mon-Fri 9:30am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-2pm).

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MyLife Enfield is a comprehensive guide to all health and social care resources available in the borough, including public health information in 34 languages and in British Sign Language, how to look after your physical and mental health at home while in isolation, and advice on staying in contact with loved ones using technology.

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