THE much-criticised Meals on Wheels menu is being changed, but Compass Group representatives say it is not in response to complaints about the food.
The quality of the service has come under fire since the Auckland-based food provider took over the Southern District Health Board Meals on Wheels contract in January.
Compass Group national development and innovation manager Lauren Scott said the menu changes were not being made in response to complaints, but rather staff were continuously reviewing the service.
The review, which incorporated feedback from recipients, health professionals and community stakeholders, found people wanted more variety of vegetables, more traditional mince and casseroles included and sausages removed from the menu.
There would also be more roast meals on offer, Miss Scott said.
In addition to the menu changes, Compass had also partnered with a new supplier, Tauranga-based Frozen Fresh, replacing LSG Sky Chefs.
The company had changed suppliers in part because it wanted to change the packaging of the meals from tinfoil covers, which had the potential to leak, to a sealed plastic container, she said.
The new packaging gave people the opportunity to choose a frozen meal they could heat at their leisure, as some older people preferred to eat their hot meal in the evenings rather than during the day, she said.
Southland will be one of the first regions to sample the new menu when it takes effect on November 28.
There will be 15 main dishes on a three-week rotation as well as eight vegetarian dishes, including macaroni cheese, roast pork, potato quiche, corned beef and beef casserole.
Miss Scott said the meals were energy dense and provided about a third of an older person’s daily dietary requirements.
Southland Express would like to hear from Meals on Wheels recipients once they have tried the new menu to find out what they thought of it. Phone 03 218 4818, extn 107 or email firstname.lastname@example.org