More older people are asking for Foodbank vouchers.
They are seeking help because the “meals on wheels” service has been cut, a report to Uckfield Town Council revealed.
Cllr Angie Smith, who is the council’s representative to Wealden Citizens’ Advice (CAB), said in her report:
“Of particular concern are ‘forgotten’ people who were previously receiving support from adult social care, but have had their support cut.
“They are approaching CAB, because they don’t know where else to go.
“For example, more older people are coming in for Foodbank vouchers, because meals on wheels has been cut.”
Cllr Smith’s report also said the CAB continued to be very busy.
Client numbers are up 17% on the previous year and have reached nearly 5,000.
At the meeting of the council’s general purposes committee on Monday, Cllr Paul Sparks said the meals on wheels cut could have a significant impact on elderly people who cannot leave their homes.
“It is a worrying situation and is something they have relied on for a long time that has now been cut.
“I am not sure that Foodbank vouchers replace meals on wheels but I suppose it is the best next thing.”
Chairman, Cllr Chris Macve, added: “I completely agree, they [vouchers] don’t replace meals on wheels.”
His wife had volunteered when the WRVS carried out the service.
“They didn’t charge anything, they were completely free and then they were told they were not wanted and the county council employed a contractor to do it.
“The main thing wasn’t the meals but the contact people had. They had someone to come and talk to them,” Cllr Macve said.
WRVS workers would stand and talk to clients but a contractor would just deliver the meal and leave.
“It is that social contact that is very important,” he said.
Cllr Smith’s report also noted Wealden CAB had undergone a thorough audit from the central CAB office and passed with a “green rating”.
“All indications are that the CAB are managing their finances very sensibly, with an eye constantly towards saving money e.g. on stationery.
“A draft budget has been drawn up for 2020/21, but cannot be finalised until all contributions from parish councils are known.”
- Uckfield Town Council’s grant to Wealden CAB for 2020/21 is £18,836.