City of Wolverhampton Council’s thriving Meals on Wheels service delivered a record number of Christmas dinners this year. Meals on Wheels provides a vital lifeline to mainly elderly residents by delivering a hot, nutritious meal seven days a week. The number of people using the service has tripled since the council scrapped old rules which meant people had to pass an assessment before they could use the service. Meals on Wheels are now available to anyone who wants them and there are currently 633 people on the books.

Delivery drivers will be working on Christmas day as usual and have already had orders for at least 170 dinners. The number is a record and is likely to increase between now and the big day.

On the menu this year is a choice of a traditional Christmas dinner, beef bordelaise, salmon and broccoli bake or mushroom, leek and cheddar bake. For dessert people can choose from Christmas pudding with custard or festive fruit trifle.

Customers will also get a Christmas cracker – which the driver will pull with them – and a mince pie.

Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: “Our Meals on Wheels drivers will be serving a record number of dinners this Christmas Day and this is a reflection of how popular our thriving service is.

“Many people who receive Meals on Wheels are elderly with limited mobility and many live alone. So the visit from their driver on Christmas Day is really important as it could be the only person they see.

“To our drivers this is more than a job. It is a vocation and they really care about the people they deliver to and form a bond with them. They know that popping in wishing the person a happy Christmas, having a chat and delivering a hot meal can mean a great deal to people who might not have anyone else to spend Christmas Day with.

“A white Christmas isn’t forecast this year, but if the weather did take a turn for the worse our drivers will do everything possible to still get the meals out there. We are proud to say that we’ve never missed a delivery.”

Meals on Wheels in Wolverhampton is available to anyone and no assessment is necessary. People can sign up for a daily hot meal delivery, or a flexible package can be arranged on days to suit. There is also an option for frozen meals to be delivered.

A hot meal and dessert costs £4.35 per day. The service will also deliver to towns and villages surrounding Wolverhampton for a small amount more.