County Longford Meals on Wheels defy wintry conditions

Co Longford Social Services Meals on Wheels Service defied the terrible weather conditions in the past week to get out to homes across the county.

Co Longford Social Services Meals on Wheels Service defied the terrible weather conditions in the past week to get out to homes across the county.

The army assisted the local volunteers on Monday as conditions in some parts of the county were particularly treacherous.

Meals on wheels is often the first service that is offered to older people as they become more dependant, but are still capable of continuing to live in their own homes. The benefits of the service are many.

It can improve the nutritional status of clients, it provides clients with a measure of social contact, particularly important for those who are socially isolated or living in remote areas, and it can enable the early detection of problems that require further interventions.

In addition the meals on wheels service is a local response to local needs.

Meals on wheels service is provided in the town and county of Longford on a seven day per week basic including Christmas day and other public holidays.

"At the moment we are delivering over 200 meals daily. The meal consists of hot soup, main meal and dessert and the total dinners delivered for 2009 was 59,767," a spokesperson for the service told the Leader.

While the service is not in a position to provide individuals with a choice of meals each day for financial reasons, the menu is regularly rotated to ensure a good variety of meals.

"We strive to make the meals reasonable and affordable and have to rely on subsidy by the HSE, direct payments from clients, fundraising, donations, flag days and church gate collections which will be held on 11th and 12th December," the spokesperson added.

"I would like to thank all our volunteers who give so generously of their time during the year and also to the army who have assisted us to reach homes inaccessible by our own Meals on Wheels vans during the severe weather conditions."